Written by Daniel Stepman, Owner HRCheckup
Most employers aren’t embracing digital mobility because they strongly believe in its strategic value, but rather because they feel forced to hop on the bandwagon. Digital mobility has become a necessity if you want to compete in the war for talent. Allowing your employees more flexibility in choosing where and when they work has become a minimum requirement to be considered as an attractive employer. Candidates want to know, for instance, that you allow them to start the day by checking their mails first and filling their washing machine next before they actually start their daily activity. If you don’t, they may move on to the next employer who will.
But even though you have to provide some level of digital mobility, you should not be tempted to allow everything for everybody without any restrictions or mutual agreements.
Detailed and transparent agreements
To start with, there are three types of homework: occasional (once in a while, for instance in case of traffic jams), structural (for instance, every Monday and Wednesday morning) and functional (for instance whenever you need to focus on demanding tasks). For each type of homework, you should create different policies and you can enjoy different extra-legal benefits.
In any case, you should make sure that all agreements are explicitly stated in your employment regulations, to ensure as much transparency as possible. Make sure to be as complete as possible too: define when, where, which devices, … up to which incidents are defined as work accidents and which aren’t.
Further tips to ensure success
There are other factors which will define the success of your digital mobile strategy. The degree of collaboration between the HR and ICT departments, for instance, will contribute to a working strategy: HR will define the strategy, and ICT will (partly) be in charge of the implementation. As such, they can provide HR with valuable employee feedback.
HR should also make sure to inform employees on the consequences of a choice for regular homeworking, such as the loss of (part of) their commuting allowance. And employees should know that they might lose earlier privileges such as a designated desk or parking spot. Other factors to consider: how to ensure GDPR compliance when employees are using devices for private purposes, how to avoid work stress caused by the feeling that continuous access equals continuous availability, and a proper training to ensure maximal results with homeworking. Such training will ideally include non-product related courses such as how to use email or telephony to avoid misunderstandings or loss of efficiency.
Motivation rather than micro-management
Last but not least: regardless of any legislation or technical choices, the success of any digital mobility strategy, from an HR point of view, will be largely determined by the way this new way of working is presented to the employees. It should be offered as a motivating privilege rather than as a grudgingly allowed present. You should realize that you can never fully monitor if employees are working as hard as they can for the entire day at home, or if they view it as an opportunity to slack and do some errands as they are unobserved for the entire day. One way to take charge of this is management by objectives (instead of management by presence). But the most effective approach is to motivate and enthuse your employees in order for them to repay you for this privilege by a hard day’s work and an optimistic attitude.
Let’s talk about digital mobility, contact your Insight account manager.
Why not also read Digital Mobility from an Experts perspective?