Our guest writer today is our apprentice Kara Bloomfield, who gives her opinion on working from home.
Since the beginning of the seemingly never-ending COVID 19 outbreak back in March 2020, many businesses have been forced to adapt to the ‘new way of life’ by following the rules and regulations set up by the government. These rules have included social distancing and allowing workers to work from home when possible.
Unfortunately, for some businesses this just isn’t feasible, and some workers have continued to travel to their workplace throughout the pandemic (hats off to you).
However, for a lot of people who work in Tech, ‘working from home’ can be as simple as just taking the devices you work on back to the comfort of your own home. You can then set up shop there until the government tells you otherwise, or until our workplaces deem it safe enough to return. As the pandemic continues to drag on, both employers and employees are becoming increasingly more comfortable with the new routines they’ve developed working from home, and some businesses have been operating this way for almost a year, so have adjusted to it accordingly.
Being forced to adjust to the new way of running their business, employers may have noticed benefits in having their employees working remotely:
- Firstly, remote working reduces the need for staff to live nearby, meaning the potential for hiring someone who has the right skill set you’re looking for is higher.
- It takes away the operating expenses of having a physical office (rent, electricity etc.).
- Reduces potential sick days as employees may feel fit enough to sit on their laptop, but not to travel to a physical workplace.
For employees, working from home may:
- Increase productivity and wellbeing as they are spending the day in an environment they feel comfortable in.
- It reduces the need for the employee to travel to the workplace, not only reducing costs but they also can use the saved time they would’ve been travelling to do something else like exercise or get an extra bit of sleep, resulting in a greater work-life balance.
- For staff members with mental/physical disabilities, working from home can have a profoundly positive impact on their lives and overall happiness as their homes will likely be a lot better equipped with what they require to help them thrive at work.
Our COO has concerns about the extra stress that people are experiencing from this and shares that:
"For many people working from home, the boundaries between personal life and work life are becoming increasingly blurred. The responsibility therefore lies on employers to ensure that they are not expecting employees to work beyond their hours, now that it's just a case of firing up the laptop from the comfort of their home it seems like it's not a big ask - but rest is so important, especially at a time like this. "
"Employers really need to be mindful that people are living through a global pandemic, which is not an ideal situation for anyone. Staff may not be able to work at their best right now and employers need to accept this and adapt, with wellbeing at the forefront of what they're doing."
So, what does this mean for when the pandemic is over?
Even after COVID is gone, it will have changed the landscape of the world quite dramatically. In this context, many businesses likely never considered the idea of remote working but having been ‘thrown in the deep end’ and forced to adapt, have perhaps discovered it actually works better for their business. Will the tech industry be forever changed, and remote working be the future? The environmental impact of having more people working from home would be astounding, with less traffic and reduced need for travel.