Jobhop Jobhop's blog : Millions of Brits Will Request Flexible Working After Lockdown
Are you currently working from home? Are you enjoying the additional time to manage your work-life balance?
A Direct Line survey from last year certainly suggests many of us have been enjoying spending more time at home – and less time commuting. The results reveal that 44% of workers plan to ask for permanent flexible working arrangements after coronavirus restrictions are fully lifted. That’s more than 13 million people.
With so many people planning to ask for adjustments to their working routines, in this blog we look at why it could be a great thing for employees – and employers. Acknowledging that home working isn’t without its challenges, however, we also provide some tips for these workers.
The benefits of flexible working
Although many of us may be struggling with a second and third lockdown in the UK, the benefits of working from home are still the same. So why did so many people want to work from home?
The top reasons from the survey above were:
I can save money on travelling and other associated costs like coffee and lunch
Coronavirus has proven that I can work from home effectively
It has made me realise I spend too much time commuting
I want to spend more time with my children
I am more productive when working from home
I want to spend more time with my spouse / partner
It’s better for my health in terms of pollution levels
I want to spend more time with my parents / grandparents / broader family
I want to spend more time exercising and becoming healthier
It has made me realise I spend too much time at work
Key themes emerge, focused around what people can do with the time they save (spending it with partners and family), how much they can save, and how much healthier they could be. It’s likely that some of these will resonate with you. Changing to flexible working which allows you to work from home full or part-time can allow you to make huge changes to your lifestyle.
But what does it offer employers? Well, depending on how substantial the changes they make are, businesses can save a lot of money on office space and supplies. They also reap the rewards of a happier and healthier team, as well as attracting the top talent.
In another lockdown survey, directors, senior executives or business owners were asked about the unexpected benefits of home working. And it was good news – 30% reported that their teams have been more productive and 35% said they had been more collaborative. Working during a pandemic is an achievement in itself, but to see improvements to productivity and collaboration is a benefit of remote working that employers can’t ignore.
How to adjust to home working in the long term
Some of the current challenges of working from home, including juggling working and homeschooling, should resolve themselves as the pandemic eases its grip. But if you’re moving to flexible working in the long term, it’s important to create healthy habits now. These could include:
- A routine. Just because you’re not commuting to an office every day, it doesn’t mean you should neglect your morning routine. Get up, get ready and consider a walk before you begin work. Give yourself regular breaks and have a proper lunch break too. You don’t have to work additional hours to prove yourself.
- A division between work and home. Depending on how much space you have at home, work in a separate room or create a working zone. Not only will you experience fewer distractions, but you should be able to switch off easier after the working day. Don’t be tempted to check your emails in the evening. Make sure you work when you’re supposed to, and allow yourself to wind down when you’re not.
- A decent desk setup. Have you suffered from aches and pains because you’ve been working from the sofa or an old dining chair? Now is the time to invest in a proper office setup. The NHS has published guidelines on how to sit at your desk, so pay attention or risk feeling sore and achy.
Will you be working from home flexibly in the future?
Share your thoughts and recommendations with us.
Author Leo Clarke, Freelance Writer, and Researcher