Is Working at Home Working for You?

Interiors & Retrofitting
by Margie

With lockdown restrictions still a moving feast in many parts of Australia, deciding when and how to adapt your workplace is top of mind for many boards, leaders and managers.

Leeseman, a global study by UK research company, is providing ongoing benchmarking data about working from home. The Leeseman Index (Lmi) surveys workplaces to measure aspects of employee experience and this has been adapted as the ‘Home Leeseman Index’ (H-Lmi) to assess working from home or remotely. Over 50,000 responses have been collated (as of June 2020) and presented as a guide to help organisational decision-making.

The most recent report revealed an average “H-Lmi” of 75 is five points higher than an “excellent” score in the office-based version of the survey. However, it also showed that for one in five people, working from home is not effective. Predictably, the biggest challenges were knowledge sharing, connection and achieving a work/life balance. Younger employees under 25 were struggling more than older cohorts, most likely due to their reliance on mentoring by more experienced colleagues.

Understanding how this data might impact your real estate “footprint” is a complex task. Knowledge work relies on both collaboration and individual work. Short alternating bursts of each work style throughout the day is generally found to be more productive and less exhausting. Simply rostering these tasks between office and home is not an effective solution.

As a result of COVID-19, trust to work remotely has been granted by default and the flexibility may not easily be withdrawn. If more people are distributed or working individually, what effect does this have on alignment to a common purpose? Where do people go to work “off-grid” if home is now an office? The risks to culture and employee resilience must be considered, and responses be strategic rather than reactive.

Changes to your workplace are likely to be needed, but the extent will depend on your existing office space and your organisation’s vision. The floor area required per person varies enormously and is a dial that can be adjusted with obvious cost implications. Organisations can deliver outstanding service only if they align the commitment, energy, and imagination of their employees. Adjusting and optimising the work environment will have inevitable consequences on employees’ experience, which in turn will impact the performance of your most valuable asset – your team.

Bring your Human Resources, Facility Management and consultants together to plan a flexible future. Edmiston Jones can help you facilitate this conversation to match your work environment to staff size, workflow and culture. We offer fixed-price, expert analysis of your workplace to gain optimal staff efficiency and well-being. Our experience is your advantage – put us to work!

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