The Corona Virus epidemic has resulted in the UK Government encouraging the use of home working for all workers who are able to deliver their role remotely. As organisations attempt to put this in place, many individuals will experience homeworking and managing homeworkers for the first time,

Rob Charlton has 25 years of experience delivering consultancy as an occupational psychologist including over a decade of homeworking and managing remote workers. He has put together a free guide to getting the most out of homeworking.

The free guide sets out the issues faced by home workers and the evidence base supporting this along with tips for addressing them for both individuals and their managers. In this article, we set out the eight key issues that need to be addressed.

  1. Isolation

Working at home is by its nature isolating and if working from home has been imposed rather than chosen, the impact of this may be felt more strongly. People who naturally prefer to be around other people and thrive on this interaction may struggle with the transition to working at home.

  1. Motivation

Working from home requires much more self-motivation, as your day to day activity is not in sight of either your manager or colleagues. Of greater concern than lack of motivation may be that many homeworkers report working longer hours.

  1. Trust

People who work at home often feel that there is an inherent mistrust in them and that they are judged unfairly by their office-based colleagues. Misperceptions on both sides can impact the trust that is critical to a successful relationship between homeworking employees and their line manager.

  1. Distractions

It is inevitable that there will be distractions at home that are not present in the workplace. Family members, pets and general household noises such as dishwashers can interrupt concentration and make calls with colleagues more challenging.

  1. Work-life balance

Remote workers clearly gain time from not having to commute into work. However, research suggests that many remote workers feel a pressure to give back in return. Work and home boundaries easily blur and make it difficult for people to switch off at the end of the day.

  1. Teamwork

Communication with colleagues and managers is critical to maintaining collaboration and home working increases the importance of using technology effectively. It can be challenging to replicate the advantages of face to face communication, even by making use of video technology.

  1. Technology

Home workers are very reliant on technology including the quality of their equipment and the software used to enable collaborative working and access to information. It can be frustrating if time is constantly wasted on delays caused by technology and poor or unreliable internet connection.

  1. Physical health

The physical environment at home does not always provide a suitable environment for work. Many organisations ignore the importance of a proper ergonomic risk assessment. This is often heightened by people developing their own bad habits that can bring on issues such as back pain.

We have put together a free guide to contribute to the wealth of information being made available to help people cope. It includes homeworking tips for individuals and teams as well as managers and organisations new to managing homeworkers. We hope it helps.

Click below for to view our free guide to addressing these challenges:

Free Guide to Homeworking by Occupational Psychology Solutions Ltd

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