How to make sure homeworkers aren’t just ‘lazy gits”
Since Covid – and that’s the last time in this blog I’m going to use that word, I promise – more people are regularly working from home than ever before.
There’s a tonne of reasons as to why working from home (WFH) has become an accepted working option for so many…
From your business point of view, it might be that there just isn’t the skilled workforce in your area and so you’ve had to cast the recruitment net further afield. Or, it might be that you don’t actually have office space to accommodate your team or want the additional cost of premises.
And from the employee point of view, WFH is often seen as a HUGE benefit… No more dreaded commutes stuck in traffic adding hours and a bucketload of stress to their day. There’s the money saved on fuel and public transport – though the rising energy bills might counteract any savings there. More often than not, though, it’s simply about a better work-life balance. Be it working parents being able to pick up their young kids from school or any other personal circumstances, commitments, hobbies or relationships that now have a chance of happening. All because what was commuting time is now their own time and they aren’t so frazzled when they log off from their laptop.
If you’re struggling with recruitment and retention or just want to be an amazing employer of choice – you must seriously consider WFH as an option.
Work-life balance is viewed so highly in fact that employees are choosing WFH job offers that pay less than office-based jobs.
And don’t ever forget – a happy team, means a productive team as well as happy customers. And happy customers mean revenues that will make you smile… You catch my drift?
So, is there a catch? Well, the arrogant Alan Sugar – (he’ll hate not being called Lord, he he!) – has said “a large percentage of people who work from home are lazy gits”.
This dinosaur mentality – and unfortunately, Sugar’s not the only one to think this – is that working from home means skiving. Instead of blasting out the work they’re paid to do, they’re sitting on the sofa in their pjs watching Phil and Holly on the box and generally taking the p*ss.
But this is simply not the case for the majority of homeworkers. In fact, in a recent 2022 survey over half of those working from home said they actually completed work quicker than they would have in an office because of fewer distractions.
And, if a team member’s productivity does decline after moving to working from home – then, in the main, it’s their manager who’s to blame. Here’s what you need to do to make it work:
Having all these processes in place means both you and your team have clear expectations and objectives. If then the ‘lazy git’ surfaces and, despite airing your concerns during one of your catch-up meetings, their performance is still sub-par – you have every right to raise it formally.
But, that’s unlikely to happen if you simple do your job and manage. Apparently, a Manager should spend 80% of their time managing. This seems a bit steep to me, but if you aren’t allocating a large proportion of your time to managing your team then you are not going to get the best out of them. Simples.
So, Mr Sugar, you should have been looking more closely at the role of managers rather than criticising those working from home. You and your ‘lazy git’ comment can get fired!
For more advice on managing a remote workforce, why not contact our HR expert Tracy (email@example.com)? She is one of over 70 independent experts available at www.bubulexpert.com for just £20 plus VAT a month.