Workplace audit: home working

The impact of COVID-19 has been far and wide, affecting us all in our professional, home, and social environments. We have been propelled into the unknown and with no immediate outcome in sight, it is important we learn to adapt how we live and how we work.

This new way of living and working has presented a challenge for many employers and their staff. Finding a solution that meets the needs of both, should be a focus for every business, large and small. Ensuring a workforce remains committed, motivated, and productive is of paramount importance, so what should employers consider in these challenging times of change with more staff working from home?
Employee wellbeing is at the heart of every business. It promotes and enhances productivity, good work ethic, overall performance, drive, and commitment to achieve more and as employers, we must consider the positive and negative aspects of working from home.

‘Work from home if possible’ has become a familiar phrase but what does that mean for many employees? Distraction, unhealthy working environment, lack of workplace and sense of belonging, interaction, the challenge to separate professional and personal boundaries, less efficient, longer working hours, emotional and physical impact.

Maintaining our emotional wellbeing whilst working from home is not as simple as it seems, and it is important employers recognise this. For many working from home, a workplace is a kitchen table, a lap tray with a lack of light, it can be lonely without interaction and not a positive environment to be in. This is not healthy and can seriously impact emotional health creating long-term challenges for both employer and employee.

Self-care in the workplace is important and encouraging your staff to make this paramount in every working day is key to good health, wellbeing and an asset to your business. It has never been more important for employers to audit the needs of their staff as it is now.

A workplace self-care audit can be helpful in the recruitment process and for existing staff in your organisation. Employers understanding what individual staff need to be productive, motivated, and efficient when working from home, is good practice and ensures healthy wellbeing throughout your organisation. Completing a workplace self-care audit is a simple and effective way of ensuring that your employees, and future employees, have what they need to be productive, motivated and valued by their employer.

Consider your employee’s workspace in the home. Is it comfortable, and conducive to good physical and emotional health needs? Are employees taking regular breaks during the working day? Is there an opportunity to be socially communicative with fellow workers? Are they able to separate work from home life? Are there any additional stresses at home that will impact productivity? What are your employees finding challenging when working from home and what can you do to support them? How is your organisation supporting individual and organisation growth under the new working from home guidelines?

Wellbeing in the workplace has been a focus for employers in recent times. However, embracing a new way of working and being mindful of individual employee needs whilst working from home is being a forward-thinking, proactive employer. Identifying what needs to change in your organisation and working with employees to protect their productivity, motivation and wellbeing ensures that your staff remain healthy, well, and functional in all aspects.

Karen Smith, Forward Thinking Therapies.

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