Due to COVID-19, many companies are facing the challenge of shifting their entire workforce from the office to home-based working, in some cases in less than a couple of weeks. There are, however, many others who adopted this style of working a long time ago and the transition was much easier. Will this new situation change employers’ views on home working across the board?
The Government suddenly announced the new lockdown rules, and one day in March we packed up our belongings, left the office and never went back. For some companies, where bosses were more relaxed about where you do your work, as long as it’s done to a required standard, the change was straightforward. For others, it meant a cultural change where employers had to ‘let go’ and trust their employees to do the job as well as in the office without managerial surveillance.
Over three months in and we ask ourselves the question – will we ever want to go back?
Home working comes with plenty of benefits such as flexible hours, more time spent with family, no commuting to and from the office, working in the comfort of your own home and the general feeling of freedom.
For employers – there are lower costs of running offices and optimisation of the office space – more hot-desking, and more importantly since location is not a factor - hiring the best talent, no matter where they are.
On the other hand, will we miss face to face interactions? The liveliness of the office? Informal chats over a cup of coffee in breakout rooms? Many people might face loneliness in a home setting and long for the drive to work in formal attire. Will companies’ culture suffer from a dispersed workforce?
Without a doubt, after this trial period, most of us can say whether they are ‘for’ or ‘against’ home working. Interesting times are upon us and it’s safe to say we won’t fully go back to the way it used to be. The question is how different it will be?
Written by Joanna Majewska
"He said anyone who thinks things are going to go back to the way things were is bananas."