The outbreak of the coronavirus caused an immediate impact on both our work and family life. While some people may have been used to working remotely, the majority had to make a quick lifestyle shift, as working from home became the reality for the foreseeable future. We’re here today to look at the pros and cons of this new way of working, and how this may bring about a new structure of employment for the future.
The Main Benefits of Working From Home.
- A flexible schedule. Being able to set your work hours to suit your family environment is a real bonus.
- Save money. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll save by eating at home. From the two oat milk flat whites to keep you going, to the pricey (albeit tasty) café lunch, you're going to be cutting out a wide range of different expenses. For many, you could be saving a minimum of £10 per day – start putting that in a pot to go towards your next holiday instead!
- A custom environment. Find the best spot in the house to set up your working station. Work away in zen silence or blast out your favourite tunes.
- It’s easier to make calls. No need to fight to be heard over the squall of a busy office.
- No office distractions. Following on from the previous point – avoid the loud chit-chat of noisy co-workers, which can become a constant distraction.
- Zero commuting. Many people will be gaining back 5 - 10 hours (if not more!) per week in the time they’d normally spend commuting to and from the workplace. This can now be spent catching up with loved ones over video calls, doing some exercise, or enjoying some games or a good book.
- Tick off some weekend chores. Get your weekend jobs done during your breaks in the week, and free up your weekends for fun activities only!
The Main issues about home office.
- Motivation. Without being surrounded by your colleagues and superiors, it’s up to you to maintain your professional drive. With endless distractions at home (read: Netflix), it can be hard to stay focused.
- Tech limitations. Just one tiny laptop? Gone are the days of being able to spread out over two monitors and tackle all your work at once.
- Slow wifi. The home wifi usage is normally largely dominated by streaming movies and TV shows from your favourite service but now it’s being stretched to it’s limits while still doing all this but trying to access remote servers and download work files at the same time. The wait has us feeling like we’re back in the 90s.
- Communication lags. In an office environment, your coworkers are right there alongside you, allowing you to get quick responses for small queries in an instant and continue on with your work. In the WFH environment, something that should only take a short time can suddenly drag on throughout the day whilst you wait for a response.
Changing and Adapting the Way We Work.
Remote working has become the current norm for the majority. While for many it was an easy transition, for others it was decidedly less so. Professionals such as GPs and teachers have turned to innovative solutions to keep them working during the period of isolation. Doctors are triaging patients with online appointments, and teachers are now conducting interactive video lessons with their students.
It is unlikely that these actions will continue in this fashion after this is all over, but it is good to know that our community can come together to support one another, and can adapt to unforeseen changes. For those in the business world that hadn’t considered WFH in the past, this has presented an opportunity to test-run the practice. Many have found themselves reaping considerable benefits, and it is likely that this will lead to changes in the way we conduct our business in the future.
Can we expect management to allow more home office time after COVID-19?
Flexible working environments have grown more prevalent over the past 10 years. However, with the population currently complying with government safety guidelines, this growth has accelerated.
For many, work will resume in the office environment when this is all over. However, it is likely that, over time, the way we work will become more flexible. As we start to define a new working culture, a more malleable schedule will not only become the new norm, but an expectation among team members.
While it’s unclear how long we will remain in isolation, it is important to start thinking about your return to the office at some point. Be sure to pop up a bottle of YourSanitiser in your briefcase and protect yourself from those workplace germs. Find out more HERE.