Having had a few flexible working conversations with clients on the employment law side of my business recently, it strikes me that this working from home thing is still a lot for some managers to get their heads around. And rightly so in a lot of cases! It’s all very well talking about how we need to embrace homeworking with all of its technology benefits and the savings it brings in office space and the fact that people working from home tend to work longer hours than in the office! It’s also just as laudable to discuss the mental health benefits, less commuting time stress etc and the fact that it shouldn’t matter how many hours you work as long as the job gets done. But one thing remains…
I JUST DON’T TRUST YOU!
There you go, that’s what they really mean when they say that homeworking isn’t appropriate to your role or not something we do in our Company culture….and a lot of this just simply comes down to two things:
- Measurable results (or lack of). If I don’t have metrics, KPIs or tangible ways of measuring my results then it is more difficult for my boss to know if I am performing or not.
- If I have ‘finished my work’ in the office my boss will probably give me something else to do or I will look for something else to do– if I finish my tasks early at home then I’ve potentially got a couple of hours off!
So this is about clear, measurable expectations. If my manager is clear on the results expected of me across the time I spend in the office then the same expectation applies when I’m at home. If I work in payroll and it takes me two days to process the monthly payroll then my boss has comfort that it still going to take me two full days if I do it from home. It is then easier to measure whether there is any difference between performance at home and at work. If we struggle to make the case for homeworking to our bosses then saying ‘trust me’ may just not be enough. We may need to help them make it easier to measure and manage our performance.