With more employees working from home currently, many are juggling family responsibilities along with their job workload. This can be stressful and infringe on the company’s work time. Thoughtful employers can help their workers to balance home and job duties by offering guidance and support to these efforts.
Contribute Suggestions or Compensation for Family Care
Older relatives or those with a chronic illness may need help from the at-home employee. Company leaders can provide helpful strategies to those caring for family members; for example, employees looking after older loved ones at home have better peace of mind when relying on one of the highly-rated medical alert systems. Meal delivery could be another much-appreciated time saver by work-from-home employees. While the company does not necessarily have to bear these costs, they can help to connect employees with community services and provide contributions of time or funds, if feasible, to help secure the services. Companies that contribute to this type of family support can earn their employees’ gratitude and loyalty.
Provide Options for Family Obligations
Parents who are working from home might need to drop off the kids at school or wait with them outside for the school bus and get them after school. Employers can reduce employee anxiety for this task by adjusting the employees’ start and stop time for their work shift or providing break options to accommodate these needs. Similarly, kids’ doctor appointments can be managed by a parent when the company offers flex time or comp time when the employee works additional time to make up the schedule delay.
Working from home, many employees are on the clock for accountability to the company. Any movement away from the computer may be tracked and questioned. Routine morning and afternoon breaks of about ten to fifteen minutes should be worked into the schedule. There are many ways to handle it, but it’s crucial to reduce employee stress and accommodate basic needs in one way or another to promote a positive working relationship.
Unless an employee is using Zoom or other video conferencing apps with clients much of the workday, employees should be allowed to dress casually at home. Most employers won’t check on this anyway, but those who require a morning check-in to start the workday are placing undue pressure on their employees. Adjusting the work routine at home to make it as comfortable as possible will help employees adapt to a home working environment and strive to uphold company standards.
Working from home on a company computer or other equipment requires tech support to be readily available when needed. The technician may be able to troubleshoot by phone or through the computer, and this service should be accessible for an employee’s needs. If other equipment is used, like a copier or a scanner, they should be fixable with technical support services ready to go the first day the employee works from home. Having this support available will reduce tension for everyone and ensure the work gets done on time.
In the current COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is more stressed than usual. Employers who take steps to help employees work from home with the support they need while handling family responsibilities can build trust and sustain productivity.