Supporting clients as they manage their new homeworkers

One thing that we haven’t been short of in social media this year, has been articles and advice aplenty on how to deal with the challenges posed by Covid19, but what about articles on supporting clients as they manage their new homeworkers?

Have you considered the legal implications of your role as an employer or leader in supporting your employees as they work from home? Simkins LLP, a leading London based media and commercial law firm, recently held an online seminar to an audience of HR professionals and Senior Managers from a variety of industries specifically for supporting clients as they manage their new homeworkers. To complement the legal context, Customer Attuned was invited to contribute with a session sharing insights on the issues and benefits of homeworking.

One significant change brought about by the Covid19 restrictions on our working practices, has been the vast increase in the number of homeworkers. Homeworking has become the new normal for many and it is widely expected that this will continue in some form after Covid19. It is, therefore, critical that employers understand their legal responsibilities, but also the perspective of their employees and their leaders.

The Simkins team, headed up by Partner Susan Thompson, shared an overview of the key responsibilities that employers have with regards homeworking. They did an excellent job in explaining the legal framework of employers’ obligations owed to employees when working from home in areas such as:

  • Providing a safe place to work including provision of equipment
  • Hours of Work
  • Illness & Stress
  • Managing performance and how to conduct grievance/disciplinary hearings with home workers 
  • Maintaining confidentiality and data protection issues 
  • Ensuring contractual documents/policies are legally compliant and best practice

To complement this legal context, Calum Byers from the Customer Attuned team, provided a perspective on homeworking based on many coaching conversations with both employees and managers over the last few months.

Calum discussed the findings of a large survey of employee and manager experiences of the benefits and issues of homeworking and what they intended to do going forward.

Benefits and Issues of Homeworking:

  • Home working is here to stay – but it will become more of a hybrid model with employees using both work and home offices
  • This requires changes in how people are managed – it is critical to recognise the different contexts for their homeworking experiences, but also to create an atmosphere of trust that the employees are able to work with less supervision
  • We need to think about the longer-term implications of this – how is hybrid working reflected in the company culture?
  • Working virtually requires new skills – we should recognise this and provide training

“We were delighted that Calum was able to support our event by sharing an additional perspective to complement the legal framework covered during the webinar – the feedback we received clearly demonstrated clients enjoyed the mix of legal and practical issues we were able to cover together in the webinar.”

Susan Thompson, Partner, Simkins LLP

The team at Customer Attuned have continued to support all of our existing and new clients this year as they have adapted their ways of working with guidance, sharing of ideas and experience, and focussed training. As we approach the end of the year, we have successfully moved from the physical to the virtual classroom and delivered over 40 bespoke training sessions where clients have seen their homeworkers rise to the challenge and deliver outstanding performance during this new way of working. 

We look forward to continuing to work with them in 2021 as we hopefully say goodbye to Covid19 at some point in 2021 and with it, the many articles relating to Covid19 on social media!

Alan Thompson