Working in an older house that has been converted into an office space has its pros and cons. Marissa has been working at a small law firm for a few years and while the space is typically freezing in the winter and incredibly stuffy in the summer, an oil heater and window air conditioning unit and desk fan typically keeps the space at bearable temperatures.
Last week, they were hit with an unusual heat wave for June, temperatures hitting the high 90s for three days straight. Also the first time she had to crank up the air conditioner, Marissa was dismayed when the unit shuddered and died after struggling to start up. With no air conditioning, the heat created a work environment that was far from ideal, causing tensions to rise and productivity to drop. With the ability to log into her work computer remotely from home, Marissa got the go ahead from her supervisor to work the remainder of the week from her house, in the comfort of a temperature-regulated home office.
When temperatures rise, it can be difficult to focus on anything but the stifling heat. It is a challenge to perform at your very best when you are distracted and physically uncomfortable. If providing your employees with the option to telecommute and work from home is something that your organization wants to implement, there are a few things you want to make sure you’ve done:
- Review Your Policy – If you’re going to let your employees work from home, review or create a policy detailing what the expectations of working remotely are to ensure your employees stay on track and don’t abuse the privilege.
- Communicate – With remote employees, it is more challenging to stay in touch as they aren’t physically there to talk with multiple times throughout the day. Make regular communication a priority (whether that be via email or phone) and schedule a time when your employee is in the office to catch up.
- Be Consistent – Make sure you treat your remote employees the same as you do your employees who work onsite. Consistently apply the same expectations (as applicable to the job) to ensure your onsite employees are not resentful of remote employees who do not have to perform to the same standards.
When the heat of the summer months threatens to make the most sun-loving of us miserable, providing the option to telecommute can maintain good moods and productivity levels. A way to let your employees know that their needs are important to you and the organization, implementing this program (if done correctly) can be mutually beneficial. Contact HRCentral today for a review of your existing policy, or for the creation of a telecommuting program tailored to your organization.