Given the current working conditions, a large majority of office-based employees have swapped their desks for their sofas. Working from home for many was an ideal solution for work-life balance however it was just out of reach due to hesitations from companies over the productivity of staff and management of projects and workdays.
Research carried out by Zurich Insurance highlights that out of a survey of 4,500 employees, 59% would like to continue working from home and only 10% of these employees had the option to do so before the global pandemic. Another survey released by Mitrefinch found that the search term ‘Do I have to go back to work’ increased by 4,000% throughout the early stages of the lockdown. With this in mind, do you think businesses will ask their employees to return to work in the office full time? Has the lockdown been an opportunity to show how productive working from home can be? Is this the start of a new way of working?
Do Employees Want to Continue Working From Home?
Waking up in the morning, getting ready for the day, jumping in the car, or walking to the bus/ train station, and making the journey to the office, was a familiar routine for many of us up until March 2020. With the world going into lockdown many of us started the long commute from our bedrooms to our makeshift offices in any free corner of our living spaces. Although some businesses have a working-from-home scheme already set up, giving their employees the option to choose to work from home or the office, for many this was a new experience. The sudden free time in the morning left a lot of employees seeing a different side to the working day. No more traffic jams, fighting for seats on public transport, or cueing for the kettle before the day has even started. A study carried out by the Auto Insurance Centre found that over a year commuters spend an average of 41 hours stuck in traffic. So it’s not surprising that a similar study by Cardiff University and the University of Southhampton found 88% of employees working from home during the pandemic wish to continue doing so after restrictions are lifted.
How Productive Can You Be Working From Home?
Apart from the obvious benefits of working from home, such as the commute, the environmental impact, money saved, and better work-life balance, working from home can also mean more productive staff. It is thought there will be fewer sick days due to working in isolation and less need for regular holidays due to less stress. Employees can also be more productive working from home as they face fewer distractions than in a regular office environment, as working from home can in some cases be a quieter environment to work from. In the same Cardiff and Southhampton University study, 41% of respondents stated they were as productive working remotely compared to in the office, with 29% claiming to be more productive working from home.
However of course with everything, there is a downside to remote working. Businesses may find it difficult to monitor the performance of their employees and it could be hard to ensure all employees are on the same page without regular face-to-face meetings.
Is This The Start Of Something New- How Can My Business Continue to Thrive?
Research shows that a significant number of businesses are going to be offering the option of working remotely to their employees going forward after restrictions have been lifted. This doesn’t mean working from home 100% of the time. It is believed there will be split weeks, working remotely 2 days a week and in the office the other three. A YouGov study found only 19% of people stated they would like to continue working from home full time, preferring to work in the office a few days to break up the week. Employers have found this challenging as they need to ensure they can cater and keep both working environments consistent. To be able to work from home, businesses need to ensure they have the right protocols, technology, and software in place to make this process realistic. Cutting down the number of tools one employer has to use is key. For example, when working within the marketing industry you may have a platform for email marketing, one for Digital Ads another for reporting. Keeping everything in one easy-to-use platform helps keep on top of campaigns and makes it easy to analyse the process from start to finish.
Getting used to the new normal is something businesses need to adapt to. Giving employees the option to work from home is key and having the software to do so makes the process a lot easier.
So when restrictions have been lifted, will you be working remotely or going straight back to the office?
To see how Zymplify can help you and your business work from home more productively book a free personal demo today.