Dear Aunty B,
I recently retired from a large company and bought a small research company. On taking up the reins last week, I found that several of the researchers work from home one day a week.
I don’t mind giving staff flexible work hours, but staff should be in the office and not slacking off on Friday. Do you have any suggestions as to how I put it so I don’t put noses out of joint.
Also, to bolster my position, do you know how many staff do work from home in small businesses?
Are you nuts? You can’t just stroll in to a new office and assume everyone not within eyesight is slacking off. Forget noses out of joints – you’ll have joints and all walking out your door.
Here is what you should so. Give it a few months. By then you’ll have a very good idea whether people are slacking off or not. You should also talk to their manager. What is his or her expectations? Are KPIs being met? Has the manager noticed any difference in their performance?
And my bet is you’ll find people are often so grateful for the opportunity to work from home that they put in more hours and they prove to be very loyal employees.
Of course some companies need their staff on the premises, and managers generally need to manage others in an office. But otherwise what’s the problem?
If you do find people abusing the privilege, target the non-performers – not everyone else.
As to your question on small businesses – there is one survey that the Federal Government did a few years ago that shows that 30% of people let employees work from home, so I am not sure if that bolsters your argument or not.
So PR, keep an open mind. Think back to your big business days. I am sure there were plenty of slackers who spent many hours at the office.
And you never know. Set up the right hard working culture and you might find yourself working Fridays from home.
Your Aunty B.