Home Working With The Times Masterclass

Hi – Check out the Business Masterclass in today’s Times! This handy online business journal area ran a one hour Q&A session today about the challenges of home working. The format being, home workers sent in their questions and guest speakers answered them.

And today’s guest speakers? (and this is the really big part of the story) – Ken and Paula from iHubbub!

Ken and Paula from iHubbub speak to The Times about home working

Image courtesy of The Times

It was a lot of fun hearing the bang up to date thoughts and concerns of home workers.
For me a couple of themes came through.

A lot of employees who work from home at least some of the time seem to feel a big disconnect from the office buzz, gossip and general ‘in the loop’ chatter. I’m not sure if the chatter that they are missing is particularly business critical but the fact is they feel more isolated. Employers with home workforces, large or small, need to adopt the various tools and techniques that are out there to avoid this quite prevalent issue.

Secondly, there is still a big feeling by employers (or at least their employees feel there is) that ‘if you are not here (in the office), how do I know if you are working or not?’ This is very old fashioned thinking.

There are many software solutions out there that monitor what work is being done remotely. Even without these aids, the solution is to make the work output based. If an employee is at home for 2/5/8 hours you should know what work can be produced in this time, give or take a little. Most tasks can be broken down in this way when a little imagination is applied.

Overall I have to applaud The Times for giving home workers this airtime (media space) and an outlet to voice their concerns. Home working has a big following but the employee – employer relationship is a little raw and under developed at time. This sort of discussion forum at least gets some issues to the surface.

The big beneficiary from today’s Times live chat session would have been employers, had there been any there, who could have seen for themselves the issues and the temperature of the water surrounding current home working topics.

I hope there were a few involved (I’ve no way of knowing) but well done The Times – the new voice of today’s home worker! – and well done the pair of fabulous guest speakers from today’s show!!