The Future of Work is in your Home - Personal Blog

 

Work is no longer a place, we have heard this often over the last few years and some technology vendors have incorporated it into their mission statement in one form or another, but in 2020 it has been made real by the COVID-19 crisis, as businesses sent their employees to work from home en masse, employees are now questioning whether there was an actual need to work from the office in the first place, and it’s hard-to disagree with them, in-fact I personally couldn’t agree more, and here’s why.

Firstly to clarify, not all businesses have managed to secure the technology that could enable them to work from home, and for others that work in supermarkets, hospitality and bricks and mortar retail it hasn’t been possible, in-fact except for supermarkets all the others have been affected severely by the pandemic and lots of businesses that have operated in these industries have closed down, I’m not saying that this because their employees haven’t been able to work from home, but they just haven’t been able to adapt to rapidly changing economies.

Whilst I’m no expert on the benefits of home working, I have had the fortune to have worked remotely since 2012, except for 5 months when I was office based in 2019, so I write this article knowing about all the ups and downs’ associated with working from home, and I tell you what, that 5 months spent in the office, I put on more than 5kg in weight, I was tired more in the morning and evenings, I exercised much less as I had no appetite to wither get up earlier or train after work. This was reversed as soon as I returned to home working, in-fact I now get up earlier than I did during those 5 months, now let’s take a look at some of the benefits.

Improved work-life balance

Home working mostly comes with flexible schedules, some more flexible than others, but 9 to 5 is rare. Businesses’ that adopt home working also adopt an outcome based approach to working, rather than a fixed 7 hour working period, as long as the work has been completed, the employee can prioritise their start day, which is normally dictated by workload or client demands, used wisely, the employee is able to better manage their personal life, whether its picking up children from school, attending medical appointments, doing the laundry during a break or even attending a fitness class.

Remove the commute

Whether you live on an island like I do, or in a big city it is unlikely that you will spend less than 45 minutes each day getting to and from work, that’s weeks of wasted time each year, and not only that, for the majority of us it isn’t an enjoyable experience either and it costs us money. Research has shown that stress levels increase, and health issues arise just from the commute.

You can swap this time for more sleep, getting a workout in, eating a better breakfast or spending more time with the family.

Save money

Since you will be based from your home office, there will be less car expenses, petrol, parking permits and transportation fees, reduced lunch costs as you can cook at home and less to spend on your professional wardrobe as dressing for your day is more prevalent than ever, when working from home. With all these savings, you can spend on holidays with your family.

Less absence due to sickness

Studies have shown that home workers take fewer sick days than their co-workers which work from the office, perhaps because working from home allows people go work if they are coughing, sneezing or sweating since they are not able to spread the illness within the business, even bouts of food poisoning, headaches can be better cared for at home, which also provides less distractions to colleagues.

Promotes personal wellness

If managed well, having a flexible working life allows you to become healthier and less stressed, you can stand up when you like, stop and mediate, take a walk whilst on a conference call, I like to play darts after sitting down for a long period or getting on the exercise bike for 10 minutes, also, you get to dictate when you eat and drink rather than forced to take set breaks at the same time each day. If you add this to the removal of the stressful commute, leads to high levels of wellness. 

Businesses should think very carefully about their next steps, especially during these uncertain times, and businesses’ that change their way of working to a sustainable model will benefit significantly in the medium to long term as well as retain their best employees, remote working is certainly sustainable, not without challenges, but with less office space, fewer trips away on business and greater focus for employees, the future of work is in your home.

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