Remote Working Vs Office Working and the impact on performance

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Remote working or Work from Home (WFH) has only really been a topic of conversation from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, as more employees are opting to work remotely.

According to the ONS, the proportion of working adults who did any type of work from home in 2020 increased to 37% on average from 27% in 2019, with workers living in London the most likely to homework.

Of working adults currently home working, 85% wanted to use a “hybrid” approach of both home and office working in the future. However, there was some uncertainty among businesses, with 32% stating they were not sure what proportion of the workforce will be working from their usual place of work.

What we do know, is that there must be conversations at board level and with employees to enable a full unbiased analysis for optimum performance and profitability.

We take a look at seven key areas and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both ways of working.

Commuting

The average UK commute time is 62 minutes per day with 23 miles being the distance covered. This time is also on the increase and is a major stress trigger.

Commuters having to leave home earlier, being stuck in traffic jams, spending a staggering 11 hours each day in the office, before another congested travel home arriving home later in the evening, contributing negatively to their mental health.

The bottom line is, people hate commuting and so the question posed is ‘Are employees arriving to work in peak performance?’

Employees who have experienced home working, can now see the benefits of the extra time saved which includes more family time and less anxiety levels.

 

Communication and Engagement

What do you imagine when you think of an office? Employees working hard at the desk and having chats at the photocopier, at the coffee machine or canteen. But there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction and although you can get this over a video call such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom but you can’t read body language and that instant rapport you would get physically.

A recent survey of best practices for remote teams found that communication was by far the most critical key to success. Because employees may quickly find themselves feeling disconnected from leadership or co-workers, communication frequency and consistency are crucial. A weekly schedule of meetings and check-ins can also provide much-needed structure.