The desire to work from home was prevalent long before there was a pandemic. The benefits of remote working include no commute, more time with family, and spending early morning online meetings in comfy clothes. With the sudden increase in staff spending more time at home, an important question has arisen on everyone’s minds: is working from home the ideal place to work, or are people looking forward to going back to the office?
Why remote working is popular
Before the pandemic forced some workers to make an office out of their kitchen there was already interest in remote working; a State of Remote Work 2019 report done by Owl Labs in the United States found that the majority of workers surveyed were willing to see their pay reduced if it meant they could work from home. The report found that this desire stemmed from the belief that they would have a better work-life balance, could avoid a commute and decrease their stress levels. Respondents also felt working from home improved their productivity. The option of remote work made participants feel like they are trusted and cared for by their employers, in addition, this option meant they were less likely to leave their jobs and more likely to choose employment where they can do remote work.
Do people want to return to the office?
Even though there are benefits with remote working, for many the lines between work and home became blurred. Instead of saving money, remote workers had higher utility bills. In contrast to the belief that no commute would save time, a LinkedIn survey of 2,000 people found that Irish workers worked an additional 38 hours per month. We are also social creatures by nature and may miss a coffee and a chat with our colleagues. Furthermore, many people had inadequate working conditions at their home. Home furniture may have worked at first but they were never designed to consider office ergonomics; this can cause long term issues, affecting posture, causing sore backs, and leading to a reduction in concentration. Installing office furniture can help to alleviate these problems and Radius Office has a wide range of home office furniture suitable for any budget and room
The problems and solutions to working from home
While there are challenges associated with working from home, there are just as many solutions. Staying connected to colleagues who are usually a few feet away was initially a struggle but Zoom or Google Meet are examples of video conferencing services that allowed workers to stay in touch. VPNs and password managers are also examples of solutions that help companies who are concerned about security. For members of staff that were suddenly working from home with children and required flexible working hours, trackers allowed them to note their billable hours. An additional challenge that some remote workers faced was being consistent in their work output and staying focused. If you’re working from home and this is something you are struggling with, we compiled some helpful ways to maintain concentration.
One way to help facilitate remote working is a designated place of work within your home, if possible. It’s a good idea to invest in quality office furniture such as an office chair, office desk or office storage.
Living in a live social experiment
By working from home during a pandemic we all unwittingly partook in a live social experiment. A lot of the problems raised with remote work come down to trust between the employer and employees, and an individual’s ability to work within a schedule and corroborating factors such as the space workers had and if they had additional responsibilities such as children. No doubt some workers preferred working from home, while others may need more time to adjust as their companies respond to changes. What may make employees happiest is the freedom to make their own choice on what would suit them best, and maybe even finding a combination of remote work and the office.
To encourage workers to come back into the office it is important to make sure they feel safe, we wrote about bringing social distancing to the office and outlined 5 ways the office will change. Introducing small additions can facilitate an easy transition back to work, screens will help with social distancing, and some greenery can foster a calm atmosphere.
Are you going to continue with remote work, or are you excited to get back into the office? Let us know in the comments below! Whether you decide to continue working from home or go back to the office, or do a combination of the both, our team at Radius Office are here to help and support you in all your office furniture needs; contact us and one of our friendly staff will be on hand to help.