Working From Home
At JobAlert.ie we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of people searching for ‘work from home’ jobs. The trend suggests that workers may prefer this option going forward, having experienced working from home during the Covid lockdowns. They could also be thinking that a ‘work from home’ opportunity will provide greater protection against the long term effects of the pandemic.
Maybe it’s time to consider if there are certain duties within your organisation that can be permanently carried out while ‘working from home’. You may be able to provide a combination option of working from home and at the office. The benefits are beneficial for both workers and employers, as you get to save on office space and reduce overheads and you may end up having much happier and committed employees.
You may need to review current policy and procedure documents, employee handbooks and employee contracts, if a long term arrangement is made for employees to work at home. At the moment most organisations are following Government guidelines in relation to controlling Covid-19 and in these circumstances, working remotely is not a change in contractual terms. You might want to consider applications for more long-term remote working arrangements later and a review of employment contracts may be required at that time.
Some workers prefer more flexibility, this is particularly relevant in Covid times when children may be asked to stay out of school during an outbreak, but it’s not just parents. Pet owners and all workers in general like to at least have the option. Long commutes can take its toll on the best of us, employers have noticed an increased productivity in employees that work from home, as they have more time and commitment when it comes to getting things done.
Many businesses are actively recruiting, interviewing and hiring virtually without ever meeting the candidates face to face. They are using the same processes and interview techniques and questions, but just either doing phone interviews or video calls to complete the process.
You can learn as much from a virtual interview as you can from a face to face one, but it’s extremely important that you follow the same standards and rules that you would if the person was coming to your office for an interview. Virtual interviews raise the same legal issues as traditional interviews, the conversations and interview questions must adhere to current legislation. You cannot ask questions about any of the 9 grounds of discrimination outlined in the Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2004, namely age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, family status, marital status, race, religion or membership of the travelling community.
Setting up the interview
Set up a date and time for the on-line interview or phone call, it’s important to give the candidate notice and time to prepare and you’ll both benefit from doing this. It’s very useful if you send them an information email outlining the job spec again, the process that you will follow and the proposed start time and end time for the interview.
At this time during the interview you may also want to advise candidates about the health and safety measures that you have put in place, to ensure that employees can work safely at this time should the candidate be successful.