Working from home, or living at work?

Once again, people have been advised to work from home if they can. While this change in government advice may be frustrating or confusing to some, the evidence from the initial lockdown would suggest that working remotely does not seem to have a negative impact on most people’s work performance. In fact, elements of remote working may even continue after the pandemic.

Many workplaces are more prepared for the ‘work from home’ announcement made on 22nd September, compared to the one made back in March: Zoom accounts have already been created, virtual events have been scheduled and new lines of virtual communication established. Before the pandemic, remote working was sometimes associated with employee isolation, disengagement and a potential lack of trust between employees and employers. However, evidence would suggest that employees having to work remotely during the lockdown has not had a significant effect on the quality of work that was produced, and this has some exciting implications for the future of working styles.

A recent poll we carried out on LinkedIn asked individuals whether they imagined themselves working in the office full-time in the future, full-time from home or a mixture of both. While some roles may need to continue to maintain a full-time presence in their workplaces, 86% of poll respondents have indicated that they imagine themselves working at least part-time from home in the future. This suggests that the pandemic has impacted and will continue to have an impact on the working habits of the majority of individuals.

While it has been proven that it is possible for employees to produce high-quality work while working remotely, it is also important to bear in mind that people are often stimulated by the sharing of ideas face-to-face, rather than solely communicating through digital channels. As a result, it may be beneficial for companies to promote a more ‘hybrid’ and flexible way of working after the pandemic, where there is the option of completing certain tasks at home, while offices can serve as places of inspiration, collaboration and connection.

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