Working from home has been important for business and charities/non-profit organisations alike during this time of Covid. We are grateful to Tilda Bostwick of Fundraising Talent Recruitment for approval to repeat this article from her website.
The so called ‘privilege’ of working from home has just been blown wide open. Covid-19 has catapulted us into the WFH future.
Many people have swung from one extreme to the other – from no working from home to complete out of office. I’m interested in looking at what worked, what didn’t and how you can maintain a level of flexibility that will work for you.
For a lot of people, it’s been difficult, lonely, with increased workloads while juggling family demands. Out of the morass, is there anything that inspired you, that you want to hang on to, or that you could make work with a little more balance?
Positive things people mentioned:
- The time (and money) saved by not commuting, getting back 1-3 hours per day; sleeping in or having breakfast with the family
- A shifting priority to being comfortable; less time spent on appearance; hair and makeup, dressing smartly. The relief of not wearing a bra all day!
- Time slowed down, noticing or feeling more, hearing yourself think
- Priorities shifted away from work, a balancing and ease, a change of routines
- An ability to mix personal and work tasks, a feeling of independence and increased responsibility
Some of the bigger problems like a lack of motivation, missing colleagues, competing with the family, inadequate home office set-up, too much time in virtual meetings, will be mitigated with some good planning and time spent back in the office.
Permission or Negotiation?
Working from home has been a ‘hard to put a price on’ perk and now it just got a whole lot more accessible because if you made it work, if your team made it work, how do the old arguments stack up? No CE or Manager can now say; We don’t do flexi, we are not set up for it, it’s an earned privilege, I need line of sight etc.
I keep reading that the objective now is to use the aftermath of this global pandemic to deliver a more productive, better skilled workforce enjoying improved work-life balance. We all know that working from home is precious and desired. In a 2016 UK Investors in People’s Job Exodus Trend’s poll, a third of respondents (34%) chose a more flexible approach to working hours over a 3% pay rise.
The struggle has always been in negotiating the level of flexibility you want in line with how far family friendly policies will stretch. There is a preference for verbal agreements that are at the discretion of your manager – what is the reluctance to formalise arrangements into contracts? Once a person is in a 40hr commuting routine it’s difficult to negotiate flexibility or even have the capacity to contemplate change.
How can you hold some ground? (some home ground)
Can your manager demand you go back to how it was? 40hrs in the office and no flexie? Or reduced hours and income? … <Read full article here>