Working from home – how has it changed?

Many are finding that working from home brings many benefits

It would seem that we’ve made it through the worst of the pandemic with life slowly starting to return to normal. Workers are now legally allowed to return to offices. But has 18 months of flexible working made working from home the ‘new normal’.

The majority of people across the UK will have experienced some form of flexible working since the first lockdown began. The vast majority of offices offered employees the opportunity to work remotely. Businesses have witnessed how this can be achieved, so could flexible or ‘hybrid’ working really be the future.

Given the sudden necessity for flexible working due to the pandemic, the topic has sparked plenty of recent debate. Is it really a feasible method of working, and could it even be beneficial for businesses?

A recent study taken by Stanford has found that working from home increased productivity by 13%. This is thought to be due to a more convenient and quieter working environment. The study took place over a period of nine months. It also cited fewer breaks and sick days as reasons for the improvements in performance.

Hybrid Working

Hybrid working is a relatively recent term that could well become much more common in the coming years. With people slowly returning to offices, some businesses are opting to trial hybrid working. This where employees will split their working week between their homes and offices. Many businesses are keen to preserve what is an efficient way of working, along with the fact that it greatly decreases overheads.

Hybrid working is a great way to incorporate the benefits of working from home while not disregarding the social benefits of office life. Another study taken recently shows that flexible and hybrid working can lead to better staff retention as employees tend to experience a more favourable work/ life balance.

Running a business from home

Obviously, it isn’t just employees who have been forced into flexible working over the last year and a half. Many self-employed people also saw their workspaces relocated to within their own homes during the pandemic. You may need to look at permissions or separate insurance from your mortgage provider along with permissions from local planning offices and councils. This would depend on the nature of the business being run. With the technology to connect with employees and clients being so readily available, flexible and hybrid working could be a serious alternative.

Although there will be many people up and down the country who look forward to returning to the office, it’s unlikely that flexible working will become a thing of the past. With a multitude of advantages along with the fact that many workers have enjoyed the switch to home based working, it is more likely than ever that working from home, at least in some capacity, will become a considerably more common reality.

If you’d like to discuss the options available to you, contact us today.

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