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The employer’s solution kit for remote-worker challenges Part 8: How WFH success helps you spot good workers

We talked last time about the advantages to the HR office of a working-from-home (WFH) arrangement when measuring employee satisfaction against criteria like job satisfaction, work-life balance, productivity, mental health and collegial relationships.

The flipside to this is employer satisfaction – and as it turns out, WFH high achievers make the green lights flash. A study by Leadership IQ found that these workers tend to be self-starters who are more productive, resilient, physically and mentally healthy, and happy with their careers.

Self-starters bloom in their own space

Any company knows the advantages of having proactive employees whose natural inclination is to solve problems and streamline processes. Rather than waiting for someone else to come along and give them instructions, they see it as their personal responsibility to take ownership of situations and make things work, without delay.

These self-starters have now proven to thrive in remote-working settings. Of nearly 4000 participants in the IQ study, 53% experienced an increase in productivity – and it is the proactive ones who benefited most from being given the space to do what must be done. There is little argument for demanding that this space should be in an office setting, and every reason for shifting it off-site to the home for the most part, if the organisation wishes to capitalise on this phenomenon.

Resilience makes for robustness

The more resilient an employee is, the stronger they are at dealing with trouble and the better they will fare working from home. Resilient workers are those who recover more easily from all kinds of setback, whether family- or work-related.

In the work setting, they are the ones who, after making a mistake, will look for opportunities to correct it. When adversity strikes, they will find ways to minimise the effects. And if confronted with stress-inducing situations, they look to fix the causes.

WFH promotes better physical health among some

For various reasons, since finding themselves homebound, a large percentage of employees have been more inclined to exercise and eat more healthily. For the organisation, this has obvious advantages in terms of employees taking fewer days’ sick leave and being more productive on the whole.

It goes without saying that workers who feel physically good will deliver better outputs.

WFH promotes better mental health among some

Some employees report enjoying improved mental health since working from home.

This seems to be particularly true for those who are highly ambitious. They are the ones who thrive on being challenged and being entrusted with leadership positions – meaning they resort under the resilient group of self-starters.

Having to adjust to new ways of doing things when working from home requires a can-do mental orientation, and such people are clearly an asset to any company.

More career happiness

It has been found that most employees are experiencing equal or greater career happiness working from home.

Employees who feel more fulfilled in their career tend to be those with high assertiveness scores, meaning they function well with regard to getting what they need in order to do their jobs; defending their viewpoints; and saying ‘No’ when circumstances demand it.

Takeaway

Those who do well WFH also tend to be those who tick the right boxes as exemplary employees. Organisations would do well to take this into consideration as they start  planning for work life after the lockdowns.

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