While working from home is certainly not new, 2020 has forced millions of people to work remotely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and it has sparked some interesting debate into the benefits and drawbacks and whether or not this is the future of working. It has largely been successful in many different industries, but there are also limitations and many employees are not enjoying it as much as they had previously thought.
In terms of the advantages of working from home, there are obvious benefits like no commute, greater work flexibility, comfortable clothing, no office distractions and the ability to look after kids/other large responsibilities. Additionally, many people have found that they are more productive working from home and are able to get more done, but this is not true across the board and comes down to the type of worker.
There are a handful of drawbacks to working from home from an employee’s perspective and many people are looking forward to getting back in the office. The main disadvantages are that people are missing colleague interaction, office chit-chat and having a change of scenery during the day. Isolation can be a major issue with people working from home so those that are not used to it have found this a difficult area to manage. On top of this, some people struggle to work unsupervised and some work is much harder to carry out without being in the same office as staff.
Missing the Office?
A recent survey of 1000 Brits conducted by Yorkshire-based online poster print specialist instantprint about remote working during the pandemic, found that there are many places that are working more productively than before, such as Bristol, Glasgow and London. Despite this, it is clear that there are other cities like Sheffield and departments like operations that are working much less, but this could be attributed to the type of work and the limitations created by the pandemic.
Additionally, the survey revealed some interesting statistics in relation to what people missed about the office. 35% of respondents stated that they were missing the people that they work with and it was men missing their coworkers more than women, while 32% stated that they missed office small talk and this is something that more women missed than men. Of course, there are also things that people do not miss about the office such as activities like team meetings (6%), birthday celebrations (6%) and feeling that you have to justify every minute (5%).
It is interesting to see how some people have taken to remote working and seem to be able to be more productive, but this is not the case for all as some are struggling to be as productive and miss many aspects about the office. It will be interesting to see what the future holds in terms of remote work and whether or not staff will have more flexibility about the way in which they work.