Are companies adopting an ongoing hybrid work from home model?
Most businesses that Corporate Work Health Australia are working with have now adopted an ongoing hybrid work from home model. Most commonly this may be 2 or 3 days per week at home and 2 or 3 days per week at the office. Some businesses are also now moving to 1 day at home and 4 days in the office with the aim of improving communication and teamwork within their teams.
What challenges are there when adopting an ongoing work from home model?
Some challenges that we have seen with organizations and their teams with ongoing work from home are the following:
- Loss of ‘teamwork’ – it is hard to directly measure and put a value on the importance of teamwork within an organization. For many companies not having the team touching base and working together face to face has been a challenge. This is not just so they can work on a design together or have a face to face meeting; but also so they can check in how they went at the gym that day, how their sister is going overseas and if they want to come for a coffee with them. These face to face touch points are invaluable for organizational culture and have been a little lost through Covid / ongoing work from home.
- Adapting to different communication styles – with a shift to Zoom and Teams and a range of other video call based meeting platforms communication team members have had to adapt to a very new way of communicating with other team members. With differences in preferred communication styles and methods between humans this has been a challenge and continues to be a challenge for some team members. Some are even saying that we have started to lose our face to face and in person communication skills. Let’s hope this is not for the long term.
- Ensuring workers home environments and home workstations are safe – Corporate Work Health Australia have now completed 1000s of work from home assessments both in person, and online. While many staff have now worked on establishing a safe home office ergonomic setup, many still have not. This may mean a worker is still using a laptop as a full time computer placing their head and neck and upper limbs into awkward postures all day. Or, a worker is still using a dining room chair or basic chair with no ergonomic features which places them into a non recommended seated working posture. One element we often see missed is privacy. If a worker is having a private conversation with a client via phone are other household/family members present in the home when this is taking place? How does the worker/business ensure privacy is met?
How do I keep my team safe when they are working from home?
This has been a real challenge for many organizations. Corporate Work Health Australia have assisted organizations all across Australia with both online training and face to face/online work from home assessments, particularly since Covid in 2020.
The training element is most commonly delivered via a live presentation on Teams/Zoom to the team with one of our health professionals while staff are in their home offices. This presentation ranges from 30min – 60min in length and comes with Q and A from team members. We cover common challenges with work from home, recommended home work environment selection, recommended home workstation setup, as well as basic stretches which can be completed at home.
With regards to assessing your team members working from home the following options are most commonly completed:
- Self assessment checklists completed by team members and submitted to the business (this relies on workers being able to answer the questions with knowledge they may not have)
- Photographs of the home work environment and workstation equipment submitted to the business
- Individual online assessments completed with all team members including a summary of all findings to the business
- Face to face assessments with any team members experiencing pain or discomfort with report back to company
If you feel Corporate Work Health Australia can be of any assistance with ensuring you and your team are safe working from home you can email us firstname.lastname@example.org or book an initial online meeting with Director Wade brennan HERE.