If you are running a small cleaning company, chances are to be competitive you need to reduce all your overheads, one way to help is to work from home, here are some tips.
A few years ago, most employers would have been uncomfortable with the idea of allowing their employees to work from home. Modern technologies like cloudcomputing, smartphones and Skype have changed all that forever, as more and more businesses reap the benefits of home working.
Employers of all sizes are taking advantage of these benefits, which include:
- Reduced sickness absence
- Increased levels of morale
- Enhanced productivity and performance
- Cost savings
- Wider recruitment opportunities
- Enhanced reputation
- Greater flexibility for customers
- Reduced absence, leave and overtime requests
The advantages are clear, but don’t just send your workers home with a laptop and an iPhone; there are a few things that you need to think about first.
Get employee buy-in first
For instance, do your employees actually want to work from home? Some people thrive in a busy environment and work better with human interaction, so it’s best to have a conversation with your team first. If some employees feel that they would prefer to work from home, make sure that they get invited to important meeting or social get-togethers to keep them engaged.
The move to home working represents a variation to an employee’s contract of employment, which must be agreed before you proceed any further. See the Varying the Contract of Employment topic for more details on this.
Establish clear goals and expectations from the outset, including where remote employees should work, what their role includes and their scheduled hours. Remember tocommunicate regularly and clearly to make sure that they still feel part of your team.
Put the right technology in place
Next, make sure your employees’ technology is secure and effective. Some employees may have slow internet connections at home and this should be checked first to ensure their work won’t suffer.
To protect your sensitive information while it’s accessed remotely, consider investing in a virtual private network for increased security. This technology allows your workers to securely access your work network, using their own internet connection.
Provide meaningful training for the use of all the technologies you use. There’s no point sending people home with laptops if they can’t log on. Consider sending each worker home (at different times) to make sure that they can work effectively from home.
If your workers don’t use laptops, consider allowing them to use their home computers, assuming that they have the right security protection against computer viruses.
Make sure that in the event of something going wrong, your home workers can get in touch with someone who can help to get them up and running again. It’s also a good idea to remind any home workers that your company’s IT, Communications and Monitoring Policy will still apply, regardless of where they work.
Don’t forget about Health and Safety
Think carefully about health and safety, too. You’re still responsible for your employees when they are at home, so you’ll need to perform regular risk assessments and workstation assessments there. Make sure that all of your employees are aware of your company’s Health and Safety Policy, and in particular, the requirements for using display screen equipment (DSE).
It’s a lot to think about, but if you’re willing to set home working up properly, you could see your business take the next step in terms of productivity and efficiency.