Many organisations adopted home working as a rapid response to the crisis, but it is becoming clear that this is now a longer-term situation. Speakers in our recent Supporters’ Network Webinar offered advice on home working, both in terms of employees coping from an ergonomic and mental health perspective, and in terms of effective remote management. People management is one of the characteristics of the Charter, and it is key to both effective home working and how to transition back into the office. The full recording of the Webinar can be found at the bottom of this page.
Debby Hallett, Head of Environment Health and Safety for UK and Ireland at BASF, offered essential advice to organisations regarding their flexible working approaches, and how to maintain a good work set up. Speaking from personal experience and how BASF has adapted, she spoke in detail about the ergonomics of desk spaces and gave ways to stay productive throughout the day. Employee voice has been at the heart of their approach, with employees being encouraged to share advice and experiences to ensure that colleagues feel supported within their teams.
Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE spoke about the importance of social connectedness, key in maintaining a good work life balance. Maintaining a good level of virtual connection will help alleviate some of the stress that many remote workers are currently feeling. Also, he explains that the right kind of people management is essential in this working approach – with a greater focus on wellbeing than work completed at the expense of presenteeism. Read more about developing flexible work practice in Cary’s recent book 'Flexible Work: Designing our Healthier Future Lives'.
Emma Degg, Chief Executive at North West Business Leadership Team, contributed tips for remote management, emphasizing the importance of remote training for line managers. Management which prioritises high volumes of work over mental and physical wellbeing will produce a high level of absenteeism in later months, ultimately costing the business more in the long term. She explores that where possible, individual work preferences should be explored and implemented, allowing employee voice to determine the direction of the organisations approach.
In the Q&A section, speakers discussed in great detail topics such as the transitional return to the workplace and how to support colleagues with limited digital skills. Physical distancing and yet social connectedness is key – teamwork and good line management will help to navigate organisations through the storm. Find the discussions to these questions, and more detail regarding the points raised, in the full video recording below.