My goodness, things have changed. Internet, email, meetings via computer and mobile phones have now freed up many of us to work from anywhere – home, a hotel during a work trip or a café.
I’m just one example of how technology has changed the way we work. Many years ago I worked for a large corporate with floor after floor full of offices and workstations. Hundreds of us filed in every day into a mirrored glass building located in our local CBD and now my sun filled office looks out over cattle, sheep and some beautiful native birds.
You may think I am writing this article with bias, but I think it might be worth considering how many of your employees really could work from home and the advantages it may bring both you and them.
There are many benefits for the employer and the employee and here are just a few:
Let’s face it, when you call some companies now you wouldn’t know where the employee is located. You just need to receive a great level of customer service from wherever it may be.
Many roles in Agriculture belong to the sales force and lots of these employees will already working outside of the traditional workplace environment.
As an employer to make this new workplace model work, you need the right people.
At first you may need to change your management style a little to ensure work is getting completed. Setting goals and completion dates for employees will ensure the work is carried out effectively. Also you may want to have regular catchups in your (new smaller) office or via the phone or Skype.
Realistically, it isn’t going to work with all employees and maybe you could propose a trial.
Unfortunately, some of our regional areas still have difficulty with internet access and this would need to be factor in allowing your employees to work from home. We can only hope the NBN roll out or improved communications take place in the country areas where it is essential whichever party is in Government.
Of course, not all employees can be located offsite, as many carry out a face to face customer service function or just require face to face interaction, therefore, there will always be bricks and mortar offices.
For others, it might be time to consider if employees working from home can really assist your business and your valued employees.