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HELP! MY EMPLOYEE WANTS A HOME WORKING DAY

In practice, we regularly hear managers sigh at the moment that agreements have to be made about whether or not working from home. An important issue here is that managers are afraid that working from home becomes a "fixed right", making it even more complex to make appointments than it already is. After all, there are already many part-timers who are not there on one or more days of the week.

In our view, this false view is based on a false picture of The New Way of Working (where working at home can be part of it). Moreover, we are convinced that there is a difference between a "home working day" and a "non-working day" and that you can and should make clear agreements about this as an organization.

The basis of The New Way of Working

The essence of The New Way of Working is in our view that you no longer "go to work" (preferably from Monday to Friday, from 9 to 5, at the office), but that you "go to work", on the time and place that suits your customers, your work, your organization and your own life. Of course it is very possible that you can do part of your work very effectively from home and that working from home is part of the New Way of Working within your organization.

Individual appointments

In our view, however, it is not the case that working from home automatically has become a right to which you can claim at fixed times. If an employer offers the opportunity (for example, laid down in the policy on The New Way of Working) to work partly from home, this offers an employee the opportunity to come to individual agreements in consultation with his or her supervisor. This includes, among other things, the preconditions for working from home, communication agreements and expectations of manager, team and employee. It helps to explicitly indicate to each other what flexibility you expect from each other.

Give and take

As an employee you can, for example, ask you to do a certain part of your tasks in principle from home and thus fill in part of your working hours at home. You can also indicate that certain days or parts of the day fit well and that you prefer to work from home. The supervisor can express the opinion that he / she considers it important that you are willing to come to the office if necessary, even at times when you would rather work at home. For example for attending an important consultation. This always involves a reasonable balance between "giving and taking" from both employer and employee.

Non-working day versus home work day

For many people, "work" is still consciously or unconsciously linked to presence "at work" (you are there and you work). Everyone in the Netherlands is used to part-timers who do not work one or more days a week (you are not there and you do not work). When working from home, a form is added. You are not here, but you are working. It is in the interest of employee, manager and organization to clarify the distinction between working and working from home when implementing the New Way of Working.

Limits and expectations

The most important pitfall for employees at Het Nieuwe Werken, turns out time and time again, is that they are going to work too much. After all, the boundaries between work and private life are fading (specially when working from home), so an employee has to set limits himself. This is easier if you agree with each other what you expect from each other when you work at home and when you are not working. Are you available? Do you check your e-mail? Are you available for important meetings? It also helps if you make appointments how you make it clear to each other whether you are working or not, for example by sharing calendars in Outlook. You can also say that you have a private appointment during the day and that you are working on some evenings.

Transparency

For managers it is then clear what they can count on. This is also important for colleagues. It prevents confusion, crooked eyes and comments like "No, there is not. He seems to be working at home! "Moreover, it forces you as a team to discuss what you expect from each other and how you deal with each other. In practice, this regularly yields useful insights and improvements in team spirit. And that makes everyone better.

Working from home does not have to cause any sighing at managers. Expecting expectations, making appointments, building in transparency and a bit of flexibility from everyone ... It is not rocket science.


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