Thousands of people are now working from home in the UK due to the Coronavirus outbreak and one HR and employment specialist is urging business owners not to panic; as he believes one positive to come from this could be that employers actually see an increase in productivity from this model of working.
Mr Finch, one of Lancashire’s leading HR and employment law specialists believes many businesses can benefit from this home working model, rather than be hindered by it during the Coronavirus period.
Mark Fallon, CEO of Mr Finch said: “Coronavirus is going to obviously have a huge and negative impact for businesses, however for many companies, there is the option to have staff working from home and this can bring some positive benefits and keep companies operating efficiently. I know this first hand because at Mr Finch our business model is for staff to work from home full time, and this has brought major benefits for the business since we launched four years ago.”
According to Mark, for his business, offering working from home as a business model has enabled him to attract some of the North West’s leading talent and avoid costly infrastructure, overheads and travel costs, enabling the business to be very competitive on rates. For companies taking this up as temporary measure though during these unsettling times, he suggests it will bring other key benefits too.
He said: “For my business the working from home model has been key for recruiting talent, and reducing costs and technology allows this to be a seamless process. However, for businesses doing this for a temporary period, it will also bring other benefits. For starters it increases the flexibility of working hours, making many businesses more client focussed with staff not constricted to the typical 9-5 core hours. I’ve also found that it can lead to more highly motivated staff with boosted morale. Staff often see working from home as both a benefit and a sign of trust, and repay that by working harder and being dedicated, often going above and beyond. I’ve seen that personally and it has contributed greatly to our own business success at Mr Finch.”
According to Mark, his key tips for making working from work are:
Provide the tools. First and foremost, staff need to be provided with the tools they need to work from home. So, for many office workers, it’s a laptop or asking them to support the business by using their own equipment in the short term, but getting this installed with the software that’s needed. Understandably this can be a chunky investment in time and money for employers, but it won’t be wasted, as in the in future, when Coronavirus has past, it will give businesses the flexibility to benefit from offering homeworking long term.
Software. Take advantage of the software out there which is readily available and often at a low cost. So, things like video conferencing, file and document sharing software, project management tools etc. All these will aid and support home working.
Structures and processes. Put agreed structures and processes in place. Home working means staff working under less direct supervision and it’s important to put in place processes such as how performance and work will be measured, how staff will be supervised and how you ensure, through the use of technology that there is a regular flow of communication and teamworking.
Mark said: “Get the basics right and many office-based businesses in particular, may see a major uplift in productivity as result of staff working from home. Coronavirus is hopefully a short-term impact for companies, but when we come out the other end, if you’ve invested in the resources to help staff work from home, you can then use the benefits that brings in the future.
“I honestly believe that the Coronavirus impact could be the catalyst for a rapid increase in Brits working from home in the long-term, as employers see the benefits.”