Activ Absence is often used to increase visibility for home workers, so everyone knows who is working, where and when. Adrian explains
"Our software, Activ Absence, can be used to give businesses the staff visibility they need to make remote working successful. Changing traditional working patterns can be challenging, the key is having the right IT systems in place, so the business doesn’t suffer. This includes providing remote access to HR and people systems.Our software has helped people manage remote workers effectively across a wide range of industries, including transport, IT and software development, sales and support.Cloud based software like Activ Absence is quick and easy to implement and intuitive to use. It will help companies keep track of staff more easily, as well as record absenteeism and holidays. It will also help businesses future proof.Flexible working is one of the most valued perks for employees and has been proven to increase productivity. It is key to attracting and retaining top talent, especially as more Millennial and Generation Z workers enter the workforce who view flexibility as a top priority when job hunting."A recent whitepaper from global recruiter Robert Walters, A Smart Workplace for the Workforce of the Future found that 48% of businesses in the UK are not set up to be able to accommodate employees working from home. Recent research by Flexioffices found almost a third (31%) of UK employees were not provided the op-tion to work flexibly by their employer.
Practical Tips for Implementing Remote WorkingHere are our practical tips for to help employers implement remote working successfully:
- Ensure employees know what’s expected of them in terms of activity or performance, especially if they are working at home. Agree how they can be contacted and set expectations around communication – i.e. a daily phone call at the start of the day if working at home.
- Flexible working can mean people coming into the office and leaving at different times. Employees should be made aware that this needs to be done quietly and with minimal disrup-tion as people around them may be working different hours.
- A weekly or monthly work schedule with deadlines should be agreed and it made clear that work must be complete the same as it would under normal working circumstances. Employees must understand they are still part of the team/department and therefore can’t let people down.
- It’s important to not lose sight that people still work as part of team no matter how small the organisation. Regular team meetings or events should involve everyone, even if this means a degree of flexibility and people coming into the office when they don’t usually. Flexible working works both ways.
- All team members need to know where everyone is at any one time. This should be visible and recorded in a centrally accessible electronic diary that should break down any barriers that prevent the employee being contacted.
- Good communication is essential for flexible working to work successfully and this must be maintained between employee and line manager/teams members – even when working away from the office. Others need to know the employee away from the office is actively busy working.
- Technology is essential – make use of the latest electronic instant messaging tools, including webcams to keep in touch whilst working at home. Working at home can be isolating so this can help maintain an ‘office’ environment – albeit virtual – as well as ensure people are working.
- Working remotely shouldn’t make a difference in how people are rewarded or praised for tasks done well or completed on time or ahead of schedule. Equally if people are not completing things on time or tasks not done as agreed take time to understand the reason and assess if further support or assistance is required so they do not feel completely isolated.
- Don’t forget to include all employees on any electronic communication that includes work news, success/wins, activities, company news to ensure that they still feel part of the organisation and are not forgotten.
- Finally, make a note of any improvements in productivity and wellbeing of employees, as well as any areas that could be causing concern every three months. It’s important to nip any issues in the bud as soon as you can, but also to demonstrate.