24th July 2020
This year, the coronavirus lockdown has demonstrated that many companies can, in fact, continue as normal with employees working from home, with so many being forced to do so. Therefore, many business owners may now be inclined to maintain this method of working to save on overheads and potentially improve employee satisfaction by giving them the option to work from home.
There have been many polls on the professional social media network, LinkedIn, which ask the public what they would prefer for their future of working. The majority of people have voted for a mixture of the two options; working from home as well as working from the office some days. As this question is likely to be on many people’s minds, we wonder, is this the ideal future for today’s employees?
Working from home during the coronavirus lockdown
Many employers have been forced to facilitate working from home for their staff this year, and most employees have risen to the challenge extremely well. Businesses are surviving with innovative thinking, even while not having the use of their offices, and they’re finding new innovative ways to communicate that they may have never considered before.
Employees have made big changes to adapt well to a new type of working, with a range of communication mediums. Many workplaces have hosted regular video calls, which has often meant even more communication than before the coronavirus pandemic, more one-to-one phone calls, and daily updates from senior staff. Employees have quickly had to create their at-home workspaces, and consider looking after themselves in different ways to adapt to the circumstances.
Working from home benefits
There are many benefits for both businesses and their staff when employees are able to work from home, from employee retention to lower costs.
Advantages of working from home for employees
- Flexibility and financial benefits due to not having to commute
- Comfortable surroundings; employees can enjoy their lunch breaks doing things they wouldn’t usually be able to, for example spending time outside in the comfort of their own gardens in warm weather
- Timing convenience – employees don’t have to get up early to do their commute
- Productivity gain due to fewer interruptions
- Better work-life balance
Not only are there benefits for employees, but employers too.
Advantages of working from home for employers
- Improved employee retention due to flexibility
- Communication is often more efficient and frequent
- Productivity increases, due to lack of commuting time (more time to spend working) plus there are often fewer distractions for staff at home, compared to a busy office
- Employee health and wellness might improve if they are more content working at home
- Reduced overhead costs
- Happier staff – those working from home will feel valued and trusted to do so
Working from home tips
Finding ways to effectively work from home is vital for everyone involved. We’ve pulled together some of the most important tips for employees and employers.
Tips for working from home effectively for employees
- Structure your day with a plan and a to-do list of all the things you need to complete that day
- Ensure you take regular breaks as you would do if you were working in the office
- Always get dressed, never work in your pyjamas because it stops you differentiating between the workday and your own time
- Set basic ground rules with the people who share your space
- Don’t work through your lunch break; try to get out and about or do something for yourself
- Stay connected to your colleagues with regular video calls
- Choose a dedicated workspace; avoid working from your bed or the sofa
Tips for working from home effectively for employers
- Ensure you maintain regular communication with your employees
- Get dressed every day as you would if you were going into the office
- Schedule breaks. It can become unhealthy working from home if you’re forgetting to take small breaks, so ensure you do not work through your lunch break
- Make time to check in with your employees individually with a regular call. Be sure not just to check in on their work, but also how they are in themselves. This will make them valued and trusted, and avoid problems due to a lack of communication
Working from home in 2020
Lockdown life in 2020 has led to all kinds of changes in business and thrown companies into unknown waters. It has shown that companies can still thrive when they are skyrocketed into new challenges like remote working, and that staff are capable of maintaining a professional and hard-working attitude. One positive outcome of it all is that the problems associated with coronavirus lockdown restrictions have bought us together, more than ever. See our guide for further inspiration on motivating remote working employees.