Individual Flexibility Agreements ( IFA’s ) and working from home.

It is no surprise that many people when discussing the subject matter become cynical as to the benefit to the employer concerned. However, the facts are that creativity can be enhanced with employees working in a space that is a comfortable environment. The opportunity to work from home is very attractive to employees who face lengthy commutes or have particular family circumstances, child care etc.
If this Flexibility is to occur though, a number of factors have to be taken into account.
Workload Checklist
Part of the agreement between employer and employee should have a Checklist by which the employer can establish on a daily basis that productivity is consistent with the company’s requirements. Distractions can occur in a home environment but this is of no consequence if productivity is consistent and maintained.
Equipment and access to Documentation, Files etc.
Cloud based systems simplify this aspect, however it is necessary to ensure all computer systems and equipment are fully functioning and up to date.
Occupational Health and Safety / Ergonomics.
The employer’s responsibilities and in turn the employees continue to apply notwithstanding the workplace at home is not the normal place of business.
The Checklist will require the employee to work safely and the employer must provide all necessary resources for the completion of the works concerned.
The employer must ensure the employees designated workplace at home is appropriate for the tasks concerned and that there are no hazards such as pets and / or leads crossing the floor in the workspace.
Finally, in considering a request for an IFA involving working from home, an employer should keep an Open Mind,
As stated earlier, creativity can be enhanced in a comfortable environment and the benefits to both parties can be rewarding.

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