Working from Home
Do these words strike joy or dread into your heart? Your perspective probably depends on what role you hold within your company. Flexible working is now offered in 94% of UK organisations. This can encompass a whole range of scenarios from people who work from home on an ad hoc basis to people who never enter the office. This inevitably presents challenges for leaders who must now lead as effectively remotely as they do with colleagues who are in the office full time. Working from home can be empowering for colleagues as they are trusted to manage their own workload and beneficial for employers as there is a performance increase seen in colleagues who often work from home. They tend to take less time on breaks and be more productive. Leaders who do manage remote teams need to be careful of the pitfalls that can be expected. Research shows that these leaders often overload team members with emails if they do not see them in person regularly. Employees who work from home are likely to receive less feedback about their progress and work as the opportunities do not arise outside of the office. Clear expectations are essential for colleagues who work from home to ensure that they are fulfilling the brief. If managed correctly this can be a really effective way of working, perhaps you could try it with your team?
You can download ‘Going Remote: Leading dispersed teams’ from the Institute of leadership and management to read more about this.