#1: an office-level home office
In a major Dutch survey, 70 percent of employees said that there were one or more things they lacked when working from home, such as an adjustable desk (25 percent) or a separate room to work in (24 percent).
As an employer, you can’t easily give them a separate room, but things like monitors, other hardware (accessories), a good desk and an ergonomically sound office chair can be offered. Do you want to ensure maximum productivity and ultimate employee welfare? Then give your people a budget for workspace extras, such as decoration, lighting or insulation.
Good home working not only requires a good home-working environment, but also at the office. Think of easy-to-use and comfortable video conference rooms that perfectly capture voices and faces and transmit them to the home workers. Thereby, you increase the chance that hybrid meetings will run as efficiently and effectively as possible.
#2: appointments and mental support
Sure, home workers benefit from more privacy, flexibility and focus. But at the same time, they can experience extra work pressure and more easily overshoot their work-life balance because of the lack of separation between work and private life. As an employer, it is important to pay more attention to this, for example by having managers ask about it and by making good homeworking arrangements.
In any case, managers must make solid agreements on working from home, based on all the requirements from the organisation and wishes from team members. For example, how often can they work from home? Especially with younger employees, it is important to agree on what is expected of them when they work from home.
An important appointment also concerns the question: what do people need to come to the office for? Good to know: McKinsey research shows that tasks such as coaching and training, building relationships with colleagues and clients, onboarding new employees and everything around decision making, problem solving, creativity and collaboration are better done face-to-face in the office.
#3: maximal sociaal
Man is essentially a deeply social animal. Mutual social contact, the feeling of being part of a team, working together towards a certain goal: these are all factors that are key to employee well-being and productivity.
Working from home inherently means less social contact, so it is good to consciously encourage this. Think of fixed office days, compulsory face-to-face team meetings or super-fun Friday afternoon drinks. All studies agree: no matter how smart or lifelike digital social tools may be, they cannot match the connection we feel with each other when we are actually physically together.
They may not be a complete replacement, but good digital social tools are much better than no social tools at all. With a digital workspace such as Workspace 365, you can integrate a social intranet, for example, so that employees can form virtual communities and can like and share posts. A social intranet can be used to strengthen relationships and lay the groundwork for new projects, ideas or collaborations.