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The work from home arrangement has become commonplace since the arrival of COVID-19. Multiple studies have indicated that the new way of working can be both beneficial to business and employees. For example, employees can use the time saved on commuting to exercise or meditate, or cut the gossiping time in the office – and have a more focused work day.

Conversely, there are also ways for people to abuse the opportunity. One well-known case is when the management trainees of a major bank in Hong Kong went hiking on a work day

To make WFH a success, it all boils down to an individual’s self-control. Therefore, if employees ask for the work from home arrangement for reasons not Covid related, companies should evaluate each individual case on its merits. Here are three things to do, according to Glassdoor:

Assessment

Employers need proof that an individual is as productive at home as he is in an office. The first step is to quantify and qualify the work he accomplished on a work-from-home trial, and compare the result with his performance in the office.

Some other questions to consider: 
How productive has he been on his own?

How has he worked with other co-workers to learn through the new office systems?

Where has he helped develop solutions to the challenges that work from home has potentially caused?

Develop an action plan / trial period

If you have decided the employee's performance while working remotely is positive, you should establish productivity metrics.

What milestones should he reach during the trial period? 

How often do you check in to see if he is on track?

Build trust

When you can't see an employee physically, it's harder to trust him, even though he might never do anything to make you question his trustworthiness.

To build trust between you and the applicant, establish a communication plan that can guarantee he will be available on-demand throughout the day by phone, email, or messaging apps.

Lay out periodic and regular touchpoint with each of the colleagues to ensure projects remain on track. Additionally, invite them to come into the office once a week, such as for critical team meetings.

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