Work from home/office/home office….
Despite the disadvantages of working from home, including;
- Social isolation, which can lead to stress and depression;
- Reduced knowledge of what is going on in the workplace, which can hamper management/development/career progression;
- Difficulty keeping work and home life separate;
- Danger of overworking, as the office is always there;
- Loss of support/collaboration with colleagues;
- Reduced living space;
- Distracting/unprofessional with kids/dogs etc. noise;
- High energy bills – using home heating/lighting.
According to research by CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and YouGov survey, after the pandemic many (but not all) workers want to continue to work from home – at least some of the time.
Pre Covid, around 5% of the workforce worked mainly from home (Office of National Statistics). Now, around 40% of employers said they expect more than half of their workforce to work regularly from home; being driven up by the pandemic and Government directives.
Before the pandemic, 65% of employers did not offer regular working from home at all or only offered it to 10% or less of the workforce. However, now the 65% is expected to fall to 37% not offering home working.
The above figures represent a significant shift in ways of working, certainly for the immediate future and maybe indefinitely, which businesses need to adapt and prepare for.
However, this is easier said than done! Questions raised are:
- How do I determine the amount of space I need with a split way of working?
- What if not enough staff come back?
- What if too many come back?
- Will the number of staff vary according to seasons? (It’s nice being at home during the Summer, less so during the Winter not having a reason (or nice weather) to go out)
- How can I keep a check on development and productivity?
Hybrid working is the answer!
The hybrid model (working from home some of the time and an office some of the time) offers benefits for employees, employers and the environment alike.
- Workers are free to base themselves at home, or at a flexible workspace closer to home so that they can continue the work-life balance benefits they found during periods of lockdown.
- The reduction in commuting cuts companies’ carbon footprints and supports environmental goals.
- Empowering people to choose where they work maintains, and can even improve, productivity.
Looking to the future
Adopting a different approach may be vital for businesses to prosper in 2022 (and beyond possibly) for recruitment of new employees and retaining good ones. Following Covid-19, many people do still want to maintain the work/life balance.
This means that employers have to consider the health and happiness of their workforce and how that workforce want to work. Undoubtedly in the short/medium term that means companies will have to adopt hybrid working.
Will companies find it equally productive/cost effective for the business to enable employees to work from home?
Will the employees continue to prefer the reduced commute, more time spent in the home and change of routine to the interaction and liaising with colleagues?
Only time will tell but in the meantime the requirement to provide this presents businesses with the need for greater flexibility of space, less commitment and options for work/meet space.
Flexible space (dbs for example!) can help
Letting employees have the ability to work from a flexible work space is key to keeping all employees happy by having a choice. Many do like working from home but many don’t. With Hybrid working, there is the option to work neither from head office nor the home and combines the best of both worlds – working closer to home, so less time spent commuting but getting away from the domestic environment and kitchen/dining room/spare room being taken over by the home office whilst being able to mix with and ask colleagues, for advice with a quick chat or meet up face to face (and by Zoom/Teams with other offices) for collaboration and discussion, assisting the generation of ideas and plans.
DBS Managed offices are situated across the East Midlands, close to the motorway/main road network and reached easily and quickly by car or public transport. DBS offer a range of facilities and services to perfectly meet Hybrid working requirements, which we will detail in subsequent posts for:
Teams (part of or full team) – needing office space for a number of days per week/month
Individuals – wanting to work productively in drop in ad hoc desk space or monthly package
Meetings – for teams or a small group needing to meet to catch up and plan.
Look out for the next post but in the meantime, if you would like more information, feel free to call – 01332 810 900 or email – email@example.com
Article written by Julie Vallance – dbs Centres General Manager