2. Reduced operational costs
There is also the cost saving benefit of not needing as much real estate as an employer, with 36 per cent looking to reduce the office space they currently hold. This will impact the hospitality industry, which will see reduced footfall for shops and cafes in areas densely populated with office space. This must be balanced against those who are keen to return to the office, albeit in reduced frequency, because of the psychological attachment that some people report with their workspace.
3. Increased efficiency
Between two and three days working in the office looks set to be the norm for office workers who question why they would be needed in the office when they can arguably be more efficient with their time working from home. It not only saves time on the commute, but harnessing technology for meetings has meant that travelling between appointments is reduced, freeing up valuable time for employees to manage their workload. With 76 per cent of employers increasing their focus on agile working, employees will have more control over their hours and how they work, giving them more autonomy over their role.
4. Strengthening the employer and employee relationship
Trust has been a key barrier in numerous organisations to meaningful offers to staff to work from home, with the risk that presenteeism pressure is felt more acutely by employees. Whilst many voiced concerns that productivity would go down over the lockdown periods, many employers reported that productivity levels actually increased. With a proven track record of remote working and the effect on the business, many employers who did not offer working from home before have now been converted to the idea. In addition, with more control over working hours and conditions, employers also saw a decline in absences. The ability to work from home when slightly under the weather, but not having to drag themselves into the office may help explain the reduced levels.
5. Employee expectations
Remote working has set the tone and created an expectation for those who have shown they can do their work from home that they should be allowed to continue to do so. In many cases, it is key for driving engagement and efficiency. Better work/life balances have arguably being achieved with that in-built flexibility that can support long-term employee wellbeing and drive greater employee engagement. There are also wider advantages to an organisation’s employee value proposition, as companies with a flexible culture can attract a more diverse talent pool, for example working mothers who feel there is more scope to balance various commitments.
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