You get a call telling you that you got the job and you start next week. It’s March 2020 and the whole country is on lockdown – a courier drops off your laptop and you meet your team via zoom…
This is quickly becoming the ‘new normal’ as more and more employees settle into remote working, albeit in living rooms or makeshift home offices, in the fight against COVID-19. A recent survey showed that over 60% of the UK’s adult population are currently working from home in an effort to flatten the curve and reduce the number of infections.
While there are some downsides to working from home due to the current climate, there are more than a few positives, such as not having to struggle with the daily commute to work with delayed trains, traffic and poor weather. You also find yourself being more proactive without your usual office distractions and the unnecessary meeting that could have been an email.
In a recent survey, 60% of staff working from home stated that their work/life balance had drastically improved and were in fact, much happier working from home – but will this balance be short term or long term?
The struggle to find a healthy work/life balance through more flexible working hours and the ability to work from home has been an ongoing battle long before lockdown. However, companies now have the right tools, technologies and processes in place thanks to months of remote working and have seen the benefits first-hand, which include:
- A rise in productivity
- An increase in meeting attendance
- Using virtual conferences have enabled managers to get to know their teams better and has improved teamwork and overall company moral
- A greater trust in employee’s ability to work remotely
“Overall, working from home doesn’t change your day-to-day work, it just means you’ll be doing it from a different environment.” Jennifer Christie, Head of HR, Twitter
Over the next few weeks and months, companies will have to examine if they will continue to allow their staff to work remotely with more flexible working patterns, or go back to the regulated ritual of office-based working.
Will this forced experiment change the way naysayers think of remote working and will more companies adapt to the flexible working culture? With a possible 37% increase in productivity when working from home, and the continual adaptability of technologies such as video conferencing and Cloud management, companies may have to change their attitudes towards remote working.
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