How Well Does “Work From Home” REALLY Work?

Over the last year, we’ve had two distinctly different experiences dealing with people who work from home. Sometimes it works well and other times it truly is disastrous. It is imperative that businesses know in which of these two categories their people and services fall.

There are many factors that determine how well “work from home” really works e.g. the person’s work ethic, the extent of distractions and disturbances at home, access to a private study or office, quality of internet connection but most importantly the TYPE OF WORK people do.

Our experience has shown us that people are generally easily distracted, unorganised, and fairly lazy (not everyone). People crave routine and structure. It creates predictability which improves planning and execution. When structure is taken away you end up in front of your laptop at 3 pm still in your pajamas and surfing the internet for vaccination sites.

The TYPE OF WORK however forces people to deliver a certain output or NOT.

Need some explanation?

Our business provides payroll outsourcing services to other businesses. All our people worked from home and it worked well!! Thanks, guys!! Guess why? We have our work cut out for us – if you don’t do XYZ’s payroll by 12h00 on the 20th of the month, their staff will not be paid and there will be pandemonium – and you will probably lose your job!

However, when dealing with people whose output could not be measured, we were disappointed most of the time. One example was a procurement manager from a well-known South African brand. We could never get hold of this guy and when we eventually did it always sounded like he was in Builder’s Warehouse. His employer would never know that they missed out on the opportunity to engage with us – they would be none the wiser.

Lastly and VERY importantly, if people work from home, don’t make it your customers’ problem by forcing them to phone the office and then to be (hopefully) put through. If you don’t have the appropriate telephony technology in place to create a seamless experience for your customers, then don’t do it!

We’ve been privileged to go to a Covid-safe office throughout the pandemic. It’s been said that a lot of our staff get a distinct “Ground Hog Day” feeling when working from home…

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