We've all been working from home for a year now just about. In that year we've had lockdown birthdays, home schooling, DIY projects, return to normal hopes dashed and more lockdowns and tiering than we can get our heads round.
Through it all we've all adapted to a new way of working. Where the balance of working in our homes and family life have blurred into one almost. Organisations have supported their employees to help them through the tough times and navigate the stormy seas that was 2020.
As we hopefully move to a world where national lockdowns are a thing of the past and we are able to safely socialise and interact with other people in person, its good to take stock and see how we shaping for post lockdown.
Reading through a lot of articles there are many views. Some organisations are going back to the way it was, in the office full time nothing's changed. Others are ditching the office completely. Then there are those that are somewhere in between. Some of these will lean more towards one end than the other.
There is no right or wrong answer as this article testifies to!
In my opinion, it needs to be a collaboration between the employer and the employee. What's going to work best for both parties? Engagement is critical. Getting feedback from employees, sharing updates and strong clear communication will ensure that the right decision will be reached.
It does feel that flexible working is changing from a benefit to just being part of the role. This is a big shift and employees seem to be embracing this. When large global companies like BP, Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC are telling employees to work from home for at least 2 days a week then we know a shift is coming. It looks as though companies are using it as a way to cut back on building costs, as they are reducing their office footprints.
A reduction in operating costs for employers and a more flexible working life for employees. Definitely a win win.
According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, the number of employees returning to work full-time is gradually increasing. Its survey of 4,000 people between 24 and 28 February found that 39% of adults said they were exclusively working outside the home, compared with 32% who were only working from home.