Could working from home be the new normal?

Could working from home be the new normal?

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.

How does technology enable home working?

The ease of access to cloud-based collaborative tools, software applications and plentiful storage is simple and uncomplicated.

 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.

Microsoft teams

Voice and video communication between co-employees or clients is unhindered with a choice of easy-to-use, internet-based communications tools.

What benefits does working from home bring?

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.

SharePoint – the perfect intranet solution for small businesses

Are there any risks and influencing factors?

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:

    1. Many workers with families have really expressed the benefits of staying and working in the comfort of their own home according to a recent BBC article. For those with family commitments, remote working has meant an enhanced work life/balance can be realised.
    2. Workers with less personal space are perhaps less likely to want to work from home if their office is cramped up in a bedroom or dining room, and may not always be entirely conducive to productive, efficient working.
    3. Younger workers such as millennials are said to be much more open to the idea of working from home and telecommuting, with 92% claiming to prefer the idea of remote working due to the possibility of a better work life balance.

Working from home – where to now?

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.”

For more info on how to get the most out of working remotely

Call React now on 01394 387337 or contact us

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Published September 9, 2020

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