The Coronavirus is challenging working norms and will become an unlikely ally of improving inclusive practices, as it is beginning to get employers to deploy homeworking! This will work as a field trial and if successful could potentially change the way the world thinks of work.

Although many employers are naturally nervous about productivity, security and isolation of staff if it were to introduce homeworking, many of those who have done it will testify that by offering extra flexibility, staff feel trusted and being able to work where they feel most comfortable, which as a result boosts productivity. It can also help staff have a better work-life balance which in turn promotes greater employee loyalty. Alongside this, there can be a reduction in operating costs as less office space is needed.

Although not suitable for everyone through personal preference or role, it can be a positive way for companies to increase their inclusivity. Now we have little choice however.

So basic top tips for homeworking:

  1. Make sure you get dressed! It’s important to still do your morning routine as you usually would if you were commuting into the office, as it signals to your brain that it’s time to work—not to lounge.
  2. Create a dedicated workspace even when space is limited.
  3. Set and maintain your normal hours
  4. Focus on your output as there is a huge difference from random home working once a week to working for a few weeks. In a remote working environment you’re entirely judged by the volume, quality, and timeliness of your output. So in fact it is a good equaliser and gives you an opportunity to shine.
  5. EAT HEALTHY LUNCHES – if you’re eating healthily at the office, don’t suddenly start eating bowls of chips or ice cream at home, just because you can. Stick to a routine of keeping healthy.
  6. Limit distractions – You have stay disciplined to keep distractions away from you at home just as you would in the office

So useful advice but how do you keep a team together and stop isolation and loneliness. Certainly remote leadership is challenging but make it fun and stay connected.

We now have more technical solutions to working and communicating virtually, than ever before WhatsApp, Zoom, skype, Microsoft teams to name but a few. Make sure as a manager you setup regular check ins with your team and encourage those calls to be video calls. Setup video calls for any meetings, events that would normally require your team to be face to face.

Also be creative and get your team together for those informal chats – be creative and try to facilitate ‘a cuppa and a catch up’ or ‘eat to the beat with the team’/laugh at lunch!

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