Working from home – The new normal?
by Daniella Klein
The new normal – companies adapting to working from home.
With COVID-19 impacting many lives and re-designing “the new normal” businesses all over the UK have had to adapt and evolve to new working norms to suit the government guidelines. But with the rules easing and lockdown coming to an end, many employees fear that the working models will revert back to the old normal and questions of “will companies continue to offer staff remote working” or “are businesses going to fall back into their old patterns of working their 9-5 in the office?” are coming up all too often.
The temporary shift has forced companies to adapt and provide staff with higher quality technology and rapid adaptation to video conferencing calls as well process change and financial aspects to consider, such as furlough schemes, wellbeing improvements and many more. As positive as working from home can be, unfortunately, only some companies are genuinely looking at what they can learn from the pandemic, while many others are desperately hoping they can return to doing things the way they did before national lockdowns were enforced onto businesses.
If you are wondering whether the swap to permanent remote working is suited for your business then read on, because while the accessibilities to the employees are important, there are numerous benefits for companies as well.
Technology is on the rise
The ‘office space’ as we know it has seen a transformation over the last few years, moving away from the traditional concept of coming in every day and working your way up to having your own office based on skill and seniority, in many forward-thinking industries open-planned offices and a more casual approach have been embraced by many prominent tech firms with start-ups leading the way.
With the rise in communicational programmes and technology available to businesses, there has been a general movement towards greater flexibility married with better results.
With the advancements of technology, working from home can easily be adapted and introduced to any business, big, small, new or old. One could even debate that almost everything can be accomplished in the comfort of one’s own home. With improved and new technological advancements such as phone conferencing, video meetings, cloud-based software and many more the requirement for constant communication and interaction can be met. With a well thought through tech stack, the need for a physical office space can significantly decrease.
Offering staff to work from home, allows employers to hire qualified staff, no matter where
With remote employment, businesses can hire the best talent regardless of the geographical location. Too often companies are tied down to limiting their talent pool within a reasonable commuting distance, with a work from home position, the location of the best candidate is no longer a barrier.
Getting a stronger workforce to your organisation doesn’t only remove employment limitations but it allows for the employees to carry their diverse knowledge to the business. Frequently one of the most experienced talents work within a completely different region, inside or outside of the UK, bringing in a fresh perspective towards the business and often improving companies’ morale, setting your company above competitors within the market.
What are the benefits of working from home?
There are many benefits that come with incorporating more flexibility into your organisation’s structure. Embracing a more digital outlook and flexible working can save business owners money on reduced costs on office space and reduced business trips that can be organised through video conference meetings or seminars.
Flexible working arrangements have let individuals dictate their own schedules, and better capitalise on the time when they are most productive and/or where they can balance work and personal commitments. While remote team management has not been embraced across the board in all industries, it is increasingly appealing to many applicants looking for employers who prioritise exceptional work over the traditional, corporate or formal attitudes towards employment.
Looking at the work from home policy in a more generalised stance, increased numbers of organisations embracing and implementing flexible working will benefit everyone in the following ways:
- Lowered carbon emissions from commuting
- Improved work-life balance for internal staff eliminating or reducing their commuting time, allowing for the company to improve on wellbeing offerings
- More interviews – the truth is that many people have to slip away from work in order to conduct interviews, introducing more video interviewing from home will allow candidates to be at ease when interviewing and limit the amount of time they spend away from their current job
This is a very exciting time for many industries to re-examine their priorities when it comes to the office. Any office space that is retained will have to be completely optimised to encourage productivity and to be entirely functional. The idea that the CEO should have a luxurious and spacious office will become a thing of the past in favour of a more efficient space appropriate for video conferencing. The new normal could well be founded on better principles of communication between all levels of staff working remotely or even internationally.
It is clear that all will benefit from this new outlook on flexibility and working remotely — businesses will enjoy the financial impact, the environment will benefit from reduced pollution and staff can enjoy better freedom and flexibility to fit work around their lives and families.
However, working from home is not just a one-size fits all approach, as people have different lifestyles and house set ups such as shared households, smaller housing facilities and parents unable to send their children to day-care/nursery groups all of which will affect the plausibility of sustained good work from home.
To learn more about how Heat Recruitment can help your business cope with the new realities of flexible working and staffing amidst Covid-19, please contact us or submit your vacancy and one of our recruitment consultants will get in touch.