How can you support your home-based workers?
If you do adopt home working going forwards, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that your team are fully set up and comfortable with their working environment. This is particularly important for those team members who may be new to remote working, and may therefore require a bit more support.
Help get them set up in their home
Make sure they have a good working space, with a desk and chair set up to ensure they’re sitting comfortably and their posture is correct. You should also ensure that they have easy access to resources such as technology, IT support and HR.
Keep up the communication
To help identify wellbeing issues and offer the appropriate support to home-workers, there must be sufficient lines of communication in place. If you're able to, make sure that you book in those face-to-face meetings that virtual meetings can’t always replace. Identify good work that they’re doing and highlight it to others; recognition is a positive motivation. For employees that can feel isolated and miss the social interaction, you could set up an instant messaging service which would support real-time communication with others in the business.
It’s important to get the balance of communication right; enough that employees feel connected but not so much that they feel watched. Remember though, some people need more communication than others, so the communication balance should be tailored for each person.
Offer the appropriate training
Working at home comes with its own stresses, so offer employees training on how to handle these. This could include online training on issues such as ‘how to balance work and family when your work is your home’. Offering a regular training schedule to remote workers can also help to make them feel more valued as they are continuing to develop their knowledge and progress in their roles.
Set up an Employee Assistance Programme
Give your home-based workers easy access to support by setting up an Employee Assistance Programme. It can be trickier to identify issues and know when to step in with support when your team works remotely, but an effectively run EAP can help you with this and provide ways of enabling these employees to deal more effectively with the pressures in their lives.
How we can help
When a member of your team has something on their mind, whether that’s work stress, money worries or family problems, they can find it difficult to concentrate on anything else. Your employees bring so much more to work over and above themselves and the skills you employed them for. And, while some things they can manage, others might seem too much to cope with.
With an Employee Assistance Programme in place, your team can get help with the things that are affecting them right from the start. Before their everyday stresses begin to influence their wellbeing and productivity. You can rest assured that, no matter what they’re struggling with, your team will have someone to speak to confidentially, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Find out more about our Employee Assistance Programme.
Find out more about our small business health insurance, including what is and isn’t covered, and get a quote today.
Sources and references
1Office for National Statistics, 2020
2Employee Benefits, 2020
3OddsMonkey via Small Business, 2017
4Totaljobs. UK Workers will Spend over a Year of their Lives Commuting
5The Guardian, 2015
6AXA Business Insurance ‘The Home Business Insight Report’, March 2014 - based on research among nearly 800 home-based businesses.