Published September 9, 2020
The global and national events of 2020 have had a profound impact on traditional corporate, office-based working environments. Many employees have been advised that they should work from home if they are able to.
It is too soon and too simplistic to say that working from home is the new normal, as a lot of businesses are looking to return to the office now restrictions are being lifted. However, productive and effective home working is now an entirely viable and realistic proposition for many.
The widespread availability of cost-effective, internet-connected mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones ensures and enables straightforward and easy access to corporate software tools, business email, video conferencing apps, internet browsers, and business-related spreadsheets and document archives.
Voice and video communication between co-employees or clients is unhindered with a choice of easy-to-use, internet-based communications tools.
The daily commute to the office is no more. Although some may disagree, time spent travelling is no longer unproductive, wasted time.
Working from home can enable a more flexible working approach: the strictness of ‘nine-to-five’ office-based working hours will no longer apply for many – provided schedules and deadlines are met then all and any hours of the day can be considered as working time.
Access to the same business tools should ensure productivity levels are maintained – and perhaps in some instances, more effective working practices might evolve.
With employees working from home as physically-remote individuals there will be a detrimental effect on direct social interaction and collaborative working practices. Some may feel excluded and isolated if working from home on a protracted basis.
There’s also the challenge of remote cyber security, which takes some setting up of risk-based policies and procedures early on that support remote work.
Age and personal circumstance are also key influencing factors:
The use of technology and collaborative tools, such as Microsoft Teams, for daily workflow, business communications and ensuring schedules are maintained, is essential. And this is whether you work from the office or home.
Working is from home is likely not going to be a panacea for all office-based workers. For some, working from home will aid and assist the work/life balance, while for others, it will be time spent waiting until the office is open and active again.
However, thanks to new technologies it’s fairly clear that working from home has never been easier to do. Companies and office workers are more often going to have the ability to choose their “new normal.”
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Published September 9, 2020