Remote Working – the ‘New Normal’?

Covid-19 Employer Update
May 12, 2020

Remote Working – the ‘New Normal’?

Covid-19 has had many implications on how we work. We are learning to live among the virus by maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and regularly washing our hands. These societal changes also include remote working to prevent any unnecessary contamination. According to CIPD, when lockdown started, 61% of workers who had not been furloughed were working from home or remotely five days a week. With local lockdown restrictions in place in parts of the country, this trend looks set to continue.

Advantages

Employers state that cooperation and discussion has improved because of remote working. Previously, with a lot of people in one room, it was difficult for some employees to share their opinions. However, video conferencing has enabled each employee to share their views in a more effective way. Statistics show that employee productivity has also improved due to working from home, there have been reports of longer working hours because of time saved from not commuting.

Disadvantages

Despite these benefits, there are some disadvantages. Some employees have reported feeling isolated due to the lack of human interaction. According to Nuffield Health, an overwhelming 80% of employees feel that working from home has negatively impacted their mental health. Employee’s have reported not knowing when to switch off from work, some have stated that they feel like they cannot disconnect from work and reconnect to home life due to the two being merged. There are concerns that this may be contributing to higher levels of anxiety, stress, and loneliness. Finding a work-life balance is also proving to be problematic for many, with nearly a third (30%) finding it difficult to separate their home and work lives. A further 27% reported difficulty in switching off at the end of the day or working week.

To Sum Up

Working from home has become increasingly popular due to the recent pandemic and the new shift in environment meaning flexible hours, decreased stressors, and increased productivity for some. Despite this, some feel unable to disconnect from work when merging both family life and work commitments and some also feel increasingly isolated due to the decrease of human interaction. However, despite all of this, huge MNC’s have committed to more remote working, these include: Amazon, Barclays, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Spotify. Whether you prefer your own home desk or the hustle and bustle of a shared office, working from home is becoming more popular and this could continue for the future.

Written by Sophie Jenkins

Appendix

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2GVl9YvjhqTjc1H3zYPQ5yX/will-working-from-home-become-the-new-normal

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52765165

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/jul/26/as-working-from-home-becomes-the-new-normal-know-your-rights

https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/changing-work-views/future-work/thought-pieces/coronavirus-working-home

https://happiful.com/working-from-home-taking-toll-on-mental-health-relationships/