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Working from home: the changing world of work

  • 4 Min Read

We investigate the new world of work, and why flexible working has become the new ‘norm’, we look at companies who are role modeling this and defining what the term ‘flexible’ working means.  

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When you manage a workforce it’s important to rely trust, if you don’t trust your employees – why do they work for you? Allowing employees to work from home is the ultimate way of showing trust between employer and employee. In this modern-day world, riddled with new technology and ever mounting pressures there needs to be some element of freedom, if employees feel overwhelmed and claustrophobic productivity is bound to reduce.

What with agile working becoming a prevalent way to work, employees are embracing this new approach to their working lives. Employees now have the legal right to request to request flexible working.

Flexible working

Flexible working has been designed to suit how an employee works and to accommodate their needs. This could be tailoring their start and finishing times to suit personal needs, or perhaps working from home. According to Glassdoor, there are ten companies of note who are advocates of flexible working, topping these companies are the likes of Unilever, Transport for London and Vodaphone.

Vodaphone have released researched from their own employees showing that a good work-life balance is as important as their salary. These findings have shown that 75% of their employees think that flexible working has entirely boosted their job satisfaction, with an additional 54% saying that they felt more productive.

At Unilever they promote a very family focused working attitude. This includes a very all rounded view to flexible working making family time a priority.

Working from home

There are numerous explanations why working from home would suit the workforce. It’s important to state that different individuals are motivated by different means therefore there are both pros and cons in the working from home conundrum.

Below, we’ve listed some of the key positives;

  • The lack of a daily commute. Not having a long commute to and from work can save excessive time and money. It can even reduce your daily stress levels.
  • Flexibility. Working from home allows you to work during your most productive times, these might not be 9-5, why does convention need to dominate if that’s not what your role requires?
  • Reduce your stress levels. Working in your familiar surroundings gives you more control over your stress levels and allows you to judge when you need a break which isn’t determines by a set lunch hour.
  • Financial benefits. There are numerous ways of saving money; firstly the ability to save on the commute and buying lunch and perhaps any social activities that go alongside a job
  • Work-life balance. Many people find it hard to strike a balance between work and personal lives. Working from home makes this balance more feasible.

When considering the cons, it’s important to think about the long-term impact working from home can have, again we need to consider everyone has a different aptitude and indeed attitude towards work. It’s about making an informed judgement about how you, or your employees work best.

Below we look at the possible negatives;

  • Having a high level of self-discipline. Finding a constant level of focus when you’re alone is something that some could struggle with. It’s easy to slip into bad habits when in a home environment, which is a good test of willpower!
  • Loneliness. Again this is down to personal preference but not physically speaking to co-workers can be restrictive and lovely.
  • It’s harder to shut down. The line between work and personal life could potentially blur, which might in the long run make it less likely that you are able to switch off.
  • Relationships are harder to form. It’s hard to establish trust and develop relationships with colleagues and clients when you don’t have a daily face-to-face connection.

 

 

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