Which is best? Homeworking or Office Working? It’s a question many business owners will be asking themselves…
As COVID-19 restrictions are eased, and the “work from home if you can” rule is removed from Government guidance, I’ve started to reflect on how homeworking has changed the business over the last 18 months and consider whether to make homeworking a permanent feature.
After the initial panic of emptying the office and upgrading the IT to cope, my company, like many others, settled into a homeworking routine. Whilst I’ve worked at home for part of the week for many years, it had never occurred to me to offer this option to my team.
There have certainly been many benefits to homeworking. Increased staff flexibility (essential for inbound telephone work), improved absence levels, less time spent managing the team, and in the long run the opportunity for decreased costs with less office space required. It also enabled us to continue to offer a full service to all customers throughout the pandemic.
And for the staff, no travel costs, no commute time, more time at home, less rushing around. Staff feedback has certainly been very positive.
I also think there are some downsides. The new staff don’t know most of the team and are finding it hard to get to know them. Homeworking doesn’t encourage team spirit and overall communication and training can be more difficult.
In addition to this I strongly believe that full time working from home, in the long run, isn’t good for people’s health. Getting out, socially chatting, and interacting with people is good for everyone’s health and wellbeing and is therefore good for the company.
On balance, I think Your Office & PA will be moving to a hybrid system where staff who wish to continue to work from home can apply to do so. Homeworking will be agreed for staff whose performance meets the company standards, and everyone will be expected to work at least one day a week from the office.
I hope this will offer the all the benefits that homeworking has given the company, the team and our customers, without the negatives!
Let’s see – I’ll update you in a few months.