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5 strategies for successful ‘work from home’ policies

As Australian businesses implement work from home arrangements as part of their business contingency plans, managers need to consider how to accommodate telecommuting arrangements without sacrificing productivity and team dynamics, says one recruitment firm.

     

According to Robert Half Australia director Nicole Gorton, modern workplaces must allow for flexible working arrangements and uphold a high standard of professionalism and productivity regardless of where the team is situated.

“Although implementing telecommuting may prove more challenging for organisations that have not previously supported remote working options, it is a necessary consideration to ensure business are able to uphold productive workflows, clear communication and positive working culture regardless of external forces,” she said.

In order to assist businesses to establish a framework for successful telecommuting, specialised recruiter Robert Half has prepared five work-from-home management tips:

1. Establish regular catch-up meetings

Communication is central to any working relationship, Ms Gorton said.

“Setting aside time for regular communication is a powerful way to work together – it’s also a faster way to address issues than typing emails on the fly. Moreover, biweekly status calls and regular feedback allow telecommuters know that out of sight is not out of mind,” she argued.

“A regular Skype meeting or phone call can help the team to connect, discuss the progress of projects, share new developments and resolve any issues that could potentially arise. The start of group meetings is also a good time to acknowledge birthdays and encourage people to share personal updates, which in turn helps to uphold staff morale.”

2. Set clear expectations

When it comes to quality and deliverables, Ms Gorton continued, there “should be no difference” between the work an employee performs remotely or when that person is present in the company's office.

“Set equal standards for on-site and off-site professionals in areas such as client service, deadlines, office hours, and response times for emails and phone calls,” she said.

3. Choose the right tech tools

In a virtual environment, technology is everyone’s communication lifeline, she said.

“Slack, Google Hangouts and Skype for Business are some of the platforms employees can use to reach out to colleagues and employers throughout the day. File-hosting services like Dropbox, Google Drive or an in-house system also foster virtual collaboration and information sharing in real time,” Ms Gorton said.

4. Keep virtual team members in the loop

As opposed to remote working, Ms Gorton mused, unscheduled meetings and brainstorming sessions as well as impromptu moments of team bonding can often occur in office working arrangements.

“Managers can do much to help telecommuters and other remote workers feel like part of the team by encouraging virtual discussion boards or video meetings to conduct spur-of-the-moment conversations,” she said.

5. Don’t overlook the needs of on-site workers

“Employees who don’t have the option to telecommute — or may simply prefer working at the office — may miss out on some of the same conveniences of their telecommuting colleagues. For those who are working from the office, consider easing the office dress code, allowing flexible scheduling or offering commuter benefits like subsidised parking or transit passes for those workers,” Ms Gorton concluded.

“To make telecommuting work well for the workforce, employers need to make sure that remote team members never feel left out. Likewise, don’t overlook the need for in-office employees to maintain a better balance between their professional and personal lives and to work in a more relaxed environment.”

 

 

Jerome Doraisamy
wellnessdaily.com.au


 


David Forrest Download David's Adviser Profile

David Forrest

Director
BEc (Acc), MBA, CPA, FFin

David has been in the Financial Services Industry for nearly 30 years. He was one of the founding Directors of the successful Financial Planning and Stockbroking Practice, Henderson Gregory Forrest, for a decade. Prior to that, he held senior roles in companies such as ING, KPMG Accountants and AMP. David was previously Chairman of OAMPS Superannuation Trustee Board and currently serves as an independent Board Director for several companies.

David’s extensive experience in all forms of superannuation, including Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF), Defined Benefit Funds, retirement funding through Account Based Pensions, stockbroking with a focus on Direct Share Investment, Taxation/Remuneration Planning, Centrelink, Aged Care and business management, equip him to advise expertly on all aspects of Financial Advice.

Those with a particular interest in superannuation/SMSFs, direct share investment, salary packaging or applying for the Centrelink Pension will find his knowledge and ability in formulating and implementing creative, logical and simple wealth creation strategies a valuable asset.

David maintains a strong personalised client service focus, providing tailored solutions for clients.

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David Forrest is an Authorised Representative of Integrity Financial (SA) Pty Ltd ABN 16 133 921 187 — AFSL No 334846

Michelle Forrest

Michelle Forrest

Business Finance Manager
B Bus (Acc), CPA

Michelle’s career has spanned across the Financial Services, Retirement Living and Aged Care industries working in the private sector, not for profit and more recently with the state government for over 20 years. Her experience extends to many facets of the financial services industry, having worked in superannuation administration, technical support and financial planning practice administration.

Commencing with AMP and subsequently working in commerce and accounting roles with companies such as Brambles, Adelaide Bank Retirement Services, ECH Inc and SA Health and Wellbeing, Michelle returns to financial services after working in practice financial management at Henderson Gregory Forrest. This wide range of experience from senior accounting and management roles has provided Michelle with a strong background in business administration.

With an astute financial acumen and keen interest in business improvement strategies, Michelle ensures the smooth running of the Integrity Financial Advisory practice providing valued management support to our personalised client service focus.

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Darren Chalk Download Darren's Adviser Profile

Darren Chalk

Financial Adviser
B Com, Dip FP

Darren joins the Integrity team as a strong technical specialist with almost 20 years’ in the Financial Services industry. He has extensive experience advising clients on how to build and protect wealth, prepare for retirement and retire comfortably.

Commencing with advising clients on direct equities for over 10 years at Baker Young, Tolhurst Noall, and ABN AMRO Morgans, his career expanded to providing holistic client advice, having operated his own financial services licence and company. Most recently having worked for a 'Big 4' bank, he has welcomed the more personalised ‘client first’ approach that is evident at Integrity Financial Advisory.

With a deep understanding of investment markets, he is appropriately qualified and authorised to provide direct share advice, as well as superannuation/SMSF advice, encompassing both investments and insurance.

Meticulous in his approach, he aims to deliver quality outcomes for clients by understanding their financial situation and needs before providing advice which is central to our advice process. Darren supports David in tailoring solutions for all client financial advice needs.

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Darren Chalk is an Authorised Representative of Integrity Financial (SA) Pty Ltd ABN 16 133 921 187 — AFSL No 334846

Natasha Bartlett

Natasha Bartlett

Client Service Manager

Natasha commenced working in the financial services industry in June 2008 and is a new addition to the Integrity team. During the past 11 years, she worked closely with advisers providing administration support in a share broking and financial advice business.

Having successfully completed her RG146 accreditation in securities and managed investments and continued her studies to complete her competency in Superannuation, Natasha can ably assist with all aspects of fixed interest, cash management, portfolio administration, direct shares and client advice implementation.

Natasha takes time to ensure she understands our client’s financial goals and needs and believes in creating, preserving and utilising wealth through effective financial management as a key objective in helping clients.

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Kelly Collins

Kelly Collins

Client Service Manager

Kelly has worked in the Financial Services Industry for over 10 years and has supported David since 2013. Kelly’s primary background is in customer service and administration.

On starting in the industry, Kelly initially focused on direct shares, stockbroking administration and client liaison. Since moving to the Client Service Manager role, Kelly has developed skills encompassing all aspects of financial planning including client advice implementation and term deposit management.

Kelly’s experience in the direct share environment, especially management of estates, provides a key part of the direct equity expertise in Integrity’s Client Service Team.

Returning from Parental Leave following the arrival of her second child, Kelly has developed further honed multi-tasking skills after juggling the demands of a growing family.

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Jasmine Smith

Jasmine Smith

Client Service Manager

Jasmine has worked in the financial services industry for over 12 years in all areas of client administration, working with David since 2013.

Jasmine has extensive knowledge and experience in client service including implementation of advice, portfolio reporting, assisting with the establishment of Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs), term deposit management and a long history of helping clients with their enquiries.

Jasmine’s attention to detail, yet gentle approach, means she is able to solve the trickiest of questions for our client community.

Jasmine has gained her Certificate III in Financial Services qualification.

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Merrilyn Smith

Merrilyn Smith

Client Service Manager

Merrilyn has worked in the financial services industry for over 11 years in all areas of client administration, and is a new addition to our client services team, returning from Melbourne to join the team in June 2019.

Merrilyn has extensive knowledge and experience in client service including implementation of advice, managed fund administration, assisting with the establishment of Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) and process improvement for the previous practices she has worked with. Merrilyn’s experience with direct shares constitutes the other part of our administrative support for direct equity investments.

Merrilyn’s warm and caring nature continues to endear her to our clients and she has already established herself as a valued member of our team.

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