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The last few months has seen a dramatic shift in how a huge portion of the population works. Has workplaces closed down, placed people on furlough or asked people to work from home for the foreseeable future, many of us had to get used to a completely new way of life. Now that the lockdown measures have started to ease, how will things change in the future and will we see more people working from home than ever before? Now that we know it can be done effectively, will more companies start to recruit employees on flexible contracts where they work from home some or all of the time? It is an interesting question and one that we are all interested in, as it will change the working landscape as we know it.
One of the biggest changes many of us faced during the lockdown period was how much time we were saving by not having to do the daily commute to and from work. It’s still not fully back to normal for everyone, but it’s not hard to think back to hours spent stuck in traffic or crammed into a train or bus on your way to work. Things can get sweaty and annoying very fast. How much time have we actually been saving though, and are we putting this extra time into useful endeavours?
The biggest surprise for many people was that working from home and a flexible approach to how we work and process daily tasks was not that much different to working in the usual office environment – in terms of the productivity levels and results at least – and many companies are now looking at making this flexible approach and remote working a more permanent fixture. Some companies will have to do this out of financial necessity, whilst others might choose to in order to maintain high morale amongst staff members. In some cases, offices will never be the same again, with certain restrictions on the number of people allowed in a space at any given time meaning there is a rota of work and part-time working in the office/part-time working from home for the foreseeable future.
When you think about how most people have acted during lockdown, after the initial shock of course, it has seen many people talk of how they have managed to re-connect or stay connected with people using video software and social media, they’ve started gardening, read more books, spent more quality time with the family. A lot of this is done during the hours that would have constituted the work commute and it has made lives that much better as a result. The slower pace of life suits a lot of people.
Recruiters looking for employees to work in this brave new, flexible, world will have in mind certain traits and skillsets that will be applicable when working at home as opposed to working in an office environment. It shouldn’t change things too much, but there definitely has to be an awareness from an employee of greater responsibility over self-motivation and finding the right spaces to work effectively (wherever possible). We might begin to see a shift in salary to reflect a greater need to pay higher bills and build dedicated working spaces at home over the coming years, but that remains to be seen. Either way, if you are looking for a new job where you work from home and do not have to travel, make sure you find a specialist recruitment service that works for your specific needs.