Opinion

Working from home roles for workers and employers

Working from home roles for workers and employers
  • Your employer is responsible to ensure that most of the resources you have in the office and which are critical for you to perform your duties are provided.
  • If you have to be in many crucial meetings and need constant power back-up, you may need suitable power banks to ensure your work is not interrupted by power blackouts.

Working from home has become a good compromise in minimising interactions and enhancing the safety of employees.

Though well-intended as a good measure for social distancing, this has caught many employers and their staff unprepared and is yet to work efficiently for most.

First, let us be clear that not all roles can work from home and it is the responsibility of the employer to decide who may be allowed to do so.

While some employees may still be required to go to the office, others may need to take leave if their services are not necessary at some point.

If your role is among those required to continue working seamlessly from home, you need to ensure you have space or a desk designated as your home office.

Many employees have had to jostle for a quiet corner in their homes in the midst of their children who can neither go to school nor go outside to play.

And it is not just space. There is also more demand for the Internet and possible sharing of perhaps the only computer in the house for work and online learning for the young ones.

RESOURCES

The scenes have been quite comical. I have been on calls and seen crying or playing kids running around and often consulting the adult by the computer, sounds of dogs barking and blaring water pumps.

Being productive in such environments can be a challenge and requires better planning and proper facilitation by employers.

While working at home, therefore, your employer is responsible to ensure that most of the resources you have in the office and which are critical for you to perform your duties are provided.

These include enough airtime for all calls you need to make and sufficient data bundles for emails and online meetings.

Depending on the nature of your work and going by the number of meetings you have to attend, tools like a laptop, a phone, and possibly a suitable headset should be made available.

If you have to be in many crucial meetings and need constant power back-up, you may need suitable power banks to ensure your work is not interrupted by power blackouts.

BE TIDY

But the employer can only facilitate you up to a certain extent.

In addition to securing a room or quiet corner with all your work equipment, endeavour to stick to your normal office schedule with regular breaks to stretch, refresh, and take your meals.

Unless it is absolutely necessary, avoid calls and meetings that stretch beyond standard working hours.

Be well-groomed, comfortable, and don’t conform to funny tricks we see on social medial with people inappropriately dressed. Dress how you would like to be dressed on a normal day at work.

Mwikali Muthiani, a HR specialist with over 20 years’ experience, is the Managing Director, MillennialHR