Workplaces have been gathering dust, this past month. The coronavirus has forced us to launch the largest teleworking experiment ever. Before the pandemic, 1 in 3 Belgians occasionally worked from the kitchen table. The figures were the same for the United Kingdom and Germany. Only the Netherlands scored better, with 4 out of 10 employees having the opportunity to telework. But are companies happy about it? And do employees like working this way? What can you do, as HR, to ensure that teleworking goes smoothly and what steps should you take as an employee? Onyx tells you all you need to know.
Teleworking is based on the premise that there is a relationship of trust between the employer, the chain of command and the employee. Companies that use a management model based on control think that they will lose this control outside of the office walls. But if you work with a motivated team that is committed to achieving goals, that is part of a larger whole and in which every employee feels respected, then that kind of control becomes completely unnecessary. After all, do you really think that this motivation disappears once your employees are no longer at their desks? And if an employee fails to reach a target, then it is the responsibility of the management to look for the cause and to take steps to address it together with that person, regardless of whether they are working at the office or from home. If people perform well when they are at the office, but not when they work from home, you have to wonder why. Are they less motivated or do they lack access to certain tools or knowledge at home? These are challenges that require a different approach. Lack of effort needs to be addressed in one-on-one sessions, and a lack of access to tools or knowledge can be resolved with technical support and/or by introducing systems or processes.
By imposing an ‘office only’ policy, you make it more difficult for the employee to find the right work/life balance, which will in turn result in reduced motivation and productivity. The real question the management has to ask itself is not ‘can I trust my employees’ but ‘how can I create a working environment and collective mindset that will benefit my employees and my company?’
In the Capital Trends Report by Deloitte, 84% of employees indicated that their engagement has a major impact on their productivity. Half of the employees surveyed stated that their company is not able to encourage that engagement by creating a positive working environment. The current corona crisis is forcing managers to adopt a different mindset. By thinking in terms of results instead of hours. By connecting employees and encouraging them to share experiences.