Many businesses have been amazed how well working from home has gone and have figured out they could save millions of pounds by making it a permanent part of their business, especially when it can cost up to £60,000 a year to maintain just one work station in the Capital.
But will companies go back to “business as usual” and require that everyone work onsite, or is the pandemic the tipping point that finally convinces employers that flexible work is the way to go for the long haul?
For some people, working from home is having a positive effect on both their work and lifestyle. Recent studies are showing over a third of respondents felt that working from home was very motivational; The survey reported that the three best things about working from home were: the dearth of the daily commute, increased autonomy, and being in an environment which enhances productivity.
The next most valued benefits are the increased flexibility in working hours and greater independence over the way we work, improved work life balance, environmental, relocation possibilities, wider talent pools, diversity, productivity and time saved on the daily commuting. People being able to choose the hours they work help them fit work around other aspects of their lives such as child care, exercise, and household chores. ‘Logging on when it fits in around the children and into the evening if required. Exercise half way through the day’. It also means that people can work when they feel they are likely to be most productive, rather than working at prescribed times of the day.
Whilst there are a number of great reasons for remote working, there are also some challenges. The effect on the economy, relying on trust, poor communication, awkward flexibility, isolation, mental wellbeing and forgetting about health and safety legalities!
So, will this pandemic lead to a greater prevalence of home-working, post Covid-19, and how might Leaders, Managers, H&S and HR professionals best support staff? And support our economy?