COVID-19 has brought with it various changes for the world of work. Whilst many businesses have been forced to temporarily shut, some continue to work, albeit in very different ways than before. Working remotely from home has become the norm, with offices worldwide forced to close to help stop the spread of the virus.
Working remotely from home isn’t a new idea; in fact, some companies have been implementing the policy for years. For those who have only just started to work from home, it seems to be proving popular. Once employees found the perfect desk set-up and figured out how to work optimally from their new ‘office’, many have gotten used to their new way of work - so much so that some don’t ever want to return to the office full-time.
As the world begins to figure out a ‘new normal’ over the coming weeks, months and maybe even years, how we work will be a key thing that’s altered. Commutes and 9-5s may well be a thing of the past as offices and businesses adapt to a new working model. So just why does working remotely from home hold so many benefits?
For many employees, the flexibility that working from home has given them has allowed them to better manage their time and work towards the better work/life balance they’ve craved. Working from home has given many employees the chance to plan their day themselves, deciding when they want to work.
Not only does this allow them to slot their work hours around other activities and commitments, but it can also lead to higher productivity. Whether you’re a morning person who likes to get up early but struggles with the 3 pm slump or a night owl who has your best ideas when the sky is getting dark, working from home can allow you to work when your mind is at its most optimal, meaning better results.
The time saved from commuting to the office is also a big perk of remote working. In a world where everyone is busier than ever, time spent on the train or stuck in a rush-hour traffic jam can often seem like a waste. Remote working removes all the stress that can come with commuting, leading to more productive and happier employees. Remote jobs are becoming increasingly popular as employers look to hire the best candidate, irrespective of their location.
But what can employers do to help implement remote working as an official policy across their company? The most important thing is setting expectations. Are your employees expected to work certain hours or be ‘logged on’ at certain points of the day? Laying out exactly how you expect your employees to work remotely is an essential step right from the start.
Employers also hold a duty of care to their employees for their physical and mental wellbeing. Not being together in a physical office can make it easy for communication to fall apart, so scheduled calls and catch-ups are important, as is having a strict HR policy in place. Just because people are working from home doesn’t mean they won’t face HR issues which will require guidance.
If you’re thinking of introducing a permanent remote working policy in the future then it’s important to remember that this may mean altering the terms of your employees' contracts, therefore, it’s essential that all parties are happy with any proposed changes.
The world of work has always been an evolving field but with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to assess how they work, the working world of the future will undoubtedly be very different. Students at Griffith College can rest assured that through our industry-leading courses and teaching, they’ll be well equipped for whatever working world they find themselves in.