This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 8/04/2020. You can register here to receive them monthly.
Government guidance (or insistence) to work from home if possible makes this a significant topic across the globe. As you already know, there is endless information available through social media and, as always, the quality is variable. As a consumer, separating the valuable insights from the regurgitated press releases can be a time-consuming activity in itself. Equally, as an author, I try to offer useful content and get it heard above the noise. For this month’s newsletter, therefore, I have just written about what we know, what we are finding, what we have experienced and what we anticipate. Reporting is of little value without drawing conclusions or offering suggestions so follow the links below to find out more.
The universal implications of COVID-19 are hard for any of us to grasp fully. In the workplace, we observe a domino effect with new demands appearing week by week. We are seeing employers sending people home to work in very large numbers. This is an inevitable response to government instructions but the needs and productivity of each homeworker are proving very variable.
Obviously, home working is not new and many employers have been developing home working capability as part of a broader Agile Working plan for some time. The differences currently are the pace, the scale and, most significantly, the lack of comprehensive preparation.
Unusually, I have similar experience to the current lockdown.
I was staying with my brother in Houston, Texas when Hurricane Harvey landed in 2017. By the time I arrived, shops and restaurants had already closed and, by the following morning, only very large stores were open.
Within hours, supermarket shelves were bare and we were on an island about 3 miles in diameter. Flood water blocked roads in all directions. Thousands of people were stranded upstairs in their homes. The overwhelming power of water was in evidence everywhere and it was frustrating to feel so helpless.
As mentioned in one of the blogs above, Champion Health is now a collaboration partner.
I shall be posting more about them in due course but I wanted to draw your specific attention to their Online Mental Health Training which is now available completely free during the COVID-19 pandemic. In less than an hour, participants can learn about self-care and healthy working at home; boosting resilience; understanding stress, anxiety and depression and supporting others.
For the longer term, their unique digital survey tool reviews physical, mental and lifestyle health and provides anonymised data that enables employers to focus resources on the areas that really need attention, ensuring maximum benefit for staff and maximum ROI for the organisation.
I seem to have received more webinar invitations in the last week than in the last three months. Interestingly, only one invitation offered a choice of times. Maybe this is just my interpretation, but there seems to be a widespread assumption that we are all sitting at home staring out of the window and waiting for something to do!
We have decided to take a different approach so our ‘Tips for Homeworkers’ has been recorded by Stuart Entwistle, our Training Manager.
It is available here to view whenever it suits you.
Workplace Evolutionaries, a cross-disciplinary global community, is using this unique opportunity to carry out worldwide research about the work-from-home (WFH) experience.
The research objectives include finding out what is and isn’t working, the potential impact of WFH on employers, employees and the environment and the likely impact of COVID-19 on future workplace designs and practices.