PositivePeople June 19, 2020 No Comments

Flexible Working Arrangements

Making Flexibility Work for Your Business

Are some of your team reluctant to return to the office full time or even at all? You aren’t alone.

We have been fielding a number of queries from clients who are considering working from home arrangements post-lockdown and trying to work out the best arrangement for their business.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

The reality is that every organisation is different, with varying demands and cultural norms. There will be pros and cons unique to your workplace and structure which you will need to weigh up.

So, what should you consider and is there anything you should avoid? Here are a few steers while navigating this time. 

  1. Firstly, listen to your team and openly engage in the discussion. See this exploration phase as an opportunity to create positive engagement with your team and gain work efficiencies. Even if the final outcome isn’t exactly what people asked for initially, your team will appreciate being treated in a respectful, positive manner.
  2. Consider the future but keep it simple. Whilst you may only have a couple of people asking to work from home now, there are likely to be others who follow. Plan ahead for such requests by clearly identifying the specific roles that might fall into the ‘potential work from home’ category. That way you can treat people fairly and be consistent in managing requests and reviewing success.
  3. Be upfront. Communicate about what you are considering so everyone is in the loop. However, even if a role could be undertaken from home in theory, not everyone will be suited to such an arrangement. It is important to be upfront about that from the beginning and prepared to have those frank, sometimes confronting conversations.
  4. Be clear about your expectations. This might include minimum number of days or specific days you expect people to be in the office e.g. for team/client meetings to keep the connectivity and strong working relationships going, expected methods and frequency of communication in between office days, built-in regular reviews of the arrangement and performance levels.
  5. Don’t be afraid to try things out. Even if you already have a flexible working policy in place, you can still just trial an alternative temporary approach and formally review the policy later on. In the meantime, document any temporary individual arrangements so there is no confusion about what you have agreed.
  6. You will need to consider the practicalities of any home working arrangements to ensure you are meeting your health and safety obligations – here’s a good starting point:  https://positivepeople.co.nz/covid19-guidance-for-employers/covid-19-safe-work-from-home-guidelines/
  7. Also bear in mind that you are required to consider all requests fairly and respond in a timely manner to such requests

It can take a while to get into a rhythm when working from home, so expect a settling in period while you team get used to the new routine. Honest and open communication always helps to bed things in, and after while you will find the approach that works best for you and your team.

If you need help navigating flexible working arrangements, get in touch with us. Positive People have over 25 years experience partnering with small and medium sized businesses. Call us 09 445 1077 or email info@positivepeople.co.nz 

Safe Work from Home Guidelines

Safe Work from Home Guidelines

(Free Template)

 

Our workplace has been designed to provide you with a safe and comfortable work environment.  To ensure this extends to your home or other off-site office, you will need to review and comply with these guidelines.

These guidelines should be read in conjunction with our Health and Safety Policy, as your Health and Safety responsibilities extend to circumstances where you are working from home or at another off-site location.

 

Guidelines for Home Work Spaces

  1. Please click on the link and review the ACC Guidelines for Computer Use
  2. After ensuring that your home work space is compliant,  complete the checklist below
  3. We also require you to complete a hazards register for your home work space. This should list each hazard, outline the risk/potential harm and actions taken to eliminate, isolate or minimise the hazard
  4. Please then sign the acknowledgement page and return a copy of these guidelines to your manager along with a copy of your home workplace hazards register

It is your responsibility to ensure that you thoroughly read the ACC Guidelines for Computer Use and implement necessary changes to your home work space. The checklist below is a guide; however, it is assumed when checking each item that you have read and understood the relevant section of the ACC Guidelines for Computer Use. Any changes that need to be made to your home work space to meet the attached guidelines are to be carried out at your expense unless agreed otherwise with your Manager.

Once the agreement has been signed, it will be assumed that the relevant safety precautions have been taken and will be maintained by you. Please maintain the hazards register, adding any new hazards as they are identified and putting measures in place to eliminate, isolate or minimise each hazard.

 

Home Work Space Checklist

Please check each item once you have read the relevant section of the ACC Guidelines for Computer Use and ensured that your home work space is compliant.

 

Key considerations for your home work space Tick
Suitable chair with back support and at the correct height with footrest (if necessary)
Suitable keyboard in correct position
Suitable mouse in correct position
Suitable computer screen at correct height, distance, and position
Adequate lighting for work tasks
Adequate sized work surfaces
Safe and suitable storage for materials
Work space not situated near loud and/or repetitive noise
Adequate heating/cooling and ventilation
Surrounding electrical equipment including cables safely installed, secured and in working order
Suitable physical location of work space within the home – ideally a separate room or area with adequate separation from high-risk and/or high-traffic areas (e.g. kitchen)

 

Other considerations (please include in your hazards register):

  • Is there a working smoke detector?
  • Is a fire extinguisher readily available?
  • Is a basic first aid kit readily accessible?
  • Are exits from the work area clear and unobstructed?
  • Are there any tripping hazards?
  • Are all floor coverings safe and non-slip?
  • Are there appropriate handrails on any stairs?
  • Are any young children adequately supervised by another adult?

 

Employee Acknowledgement

I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understood these Safe Work from Home Guidelines and the ACC Guidelines for Computer Use. In addition, I have made the necessary adjustments to my home work space in compliance with the guidelines set out in these documents and have completed a hazards register for my home work space.

 

Employee Name ____________________________________________________________________________

Address ___________________________________________________________________________________

Signed____________________________________________________________________________________

Date______________________________________________________________________________________