The Full Story
In 2018, 5.2% of employed persons aged 15 to 64 in the European Union (EU) usually worked from home. This share has remained constant at around 5% throughout the last decade (Eurostat).
Following the impact of the COVID pandemic working from home some of the time, or hybrid working, has become "the norm" for many companies after the pandemic, says global workspace provider IWG. Firms will be looking to save money and be more environment-friendly by using less office space, said IWG chief executive Mark Dixon.
Given this situation workplaces need to iron out issues with their remote working capability, accessing these systems from home can be a serious challenge – not least because of the network pressures and outages reported by some internet and mobile network providers during the early weeks of nationwide remote working.
Remote working policies need to be defined and procedures put in place to ensure smooth operations if technical difficulties arise. These technology issues make it vital that both staff and Managers need appropriate training and support to make working from home technologically effective and efficient.
The major objective of the project is to develop support programmes for staff working from home and their Managers and will concentrate on the issues of (i) technology (ii) staff welfare and (iii) how to manage staff working from home e.g., to keep those staff working from home as healthy and productive as possible. The technology issues make it vital that both staff and Managers have appropriate training and support to make working from home technologically effective and efficient.
The Handbook and Training Programme are intended to inform and train the new ‘work from home' workforce including:
staff and Manager self-assessment tools
training on IT ‘safe use’
links to ‘external support’ resources
how to identify/support, staff mental health issues that working remotely can cause
Zoom fatigue: remote working brings new wellbeing challenges.
Employee trust and empowerment will drive new ways of working
The project comprises 3 main results:
Hybrid Working - SME Manager Handbook (Published - July 2023)
Staff Training Programme (for those employees working from home) (Launch Date - April 2024)
Working from Home Support Platform that houses all project outputs (Launch Date - May 2024)
The expected outcome of project outputs will be that participants will understand that there will be a new normal. Managers and employees will need to rethink workflow, supervision, motivation, human relations, trust, conflict management, training, and growth.
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