Working From Home: Can It Work in Poland?
January 30, 2014
More than half of employees worldwide have flexible forms of work and the number of such people is on the rise. For many, especially young employees, such flexibility is a key priority when looking for a job.
And what about Poland? For the time being there is not much interest from young people in working from home. Such employees are keen to learn and know that they will be able to learn the most from their colleagues in the office. As far as employers are concerned, some have been gradually accepting a mixed model of working time and allow employees to work from home in some situations or for a specific number of days a month. But in general Polish employers are still unconvinced about this global trend towards flexible working and accept a work-from-home model only where the results are easy to measure. If a programmer or engineer is working on a project that demands a high level of concentration, which can be difficult in an open-space office, has to meet a fixed deadline or specific conditions, then work from home seems to be a beneficial solution for both sides. The result is what matters when working on a project. On the other hand it is hard to imagine, at least for now, accountants, finance department staff and HR managers—who have access to confidential data that should not leak out of the firm—working from home. However, attitudes may change with time. For now, when taking a decision on adopting a work-from-home model, it is worth taking a look at employees’ profiles. Not everyone is cut out for this kind of work.
Apart from choosing the right people, who have enough motivation and organizational skills, it is important to manage them properly and to have the right kind of reporting-in system. The bigger the amount of work done from home, the more precise the system of staff supervision should be. Some companies even require detailed reporting in on a daily basis. However, this cannot replace the need to motivate, inspire and encourage employees who work remotely. That is the role of the manager. Apart from having the skills to manage a team at the office, he or she should also know how to manage remote workers.
What kind of managers will be most sought after in the future? Can we ignore the work-from-home trend? I do not think so. The need to cut rental costs and the technological revolution have already pushed some employees out of the company office. Now it’s time to learn how to manage these workers.
Deputy Chairman of the Board
Bigram SA Personnel Consulting