Remote working has offered a win-win solution for many companies and employees during the last few months.
However, as lockdown restrictions continue to lift across the UK, it seems that a growing number of employees are eager to get back into the office.
Despite the ease in which many workers transitioned into their working from home lifestyle, a recent survey has found that 36% of employees now want a full return to the office. Paired with the expectation that the Government is set to withdraw their ‘work from home if you can’ advice soon, it seems that post-Covid offices will be opening their doors sooner rather than later!
So why are employees no longer comfortable working from home?
Working from home has altered the work-life balance for most workers and may have resulted in negative effects for those who were unprepared for the transition. Beyond a lack of proper workspace at home, remote workers have faced a variety of challenges, including:
- Poor time management - Just as with offices, working from home comes with its fair share of distractions. Except, at home, these distractions can often be more constant and time-consuming. These distractions, along with no designated workspace, can result in your employees time management being poor, which can cause them to feel stressed and anxious.
- Technology issues - With the sudden switch to remote working, many employees were left unprepared and without adequate equipment to continue their day-to-day work. Issues with unreliable internet connections, low quality calls, access to software and more, could all mean that workers are keen to get back to the office.
- Missing colleagues - Working from home can be an isolating experience, especially for those who live alone or for those new to the company. Missing out on the opportunity for regular face-to-face communication can have a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of your employees.
What you can do
One of the big lessons that Covid-19 has taught us is that our nine to five working world no longer needs to be so rigid - which is what employees are asking for too! From the survey results, another 43% of employees want to continue working from home with the option of being in the office at least one or two days a week.
It is a good idea for employers to look at how they can ensure their teams are happy with their working arrangements. While attempting to accommodate every employee and their needs is likely to be an impossible task, taking the time to consider different flexible working styles may mean that employees feel listened to and valued, as well as comfortable in a working style that suits them.
The most common flexible working types are:
- Working from home
- Job sharing
Regardless of how many employees you welcome back into the office, it is crucial to create an inspiring and productive work culture that many of your staff may have missed. This culture is likely to boost the engagement of your return employees along with ensuring they stay happy at work.
For some, returning to work may be a more daunting experience. From health concerns to financial stresses, it’s important to listen to your employees and support them through any workplace changes. This will help create a happy team and a safe workplace for everyone to work.
Get prepared for the return
To avoid the stress and fear that re-opening your office may cause, it is essential to stay informed with the latest safety advice on re-opening your business from the Government.
It is also important to ensure that everyone adheres to social distancing measures. This may mean changing office layouts, including more desk screens and divides as well as purchasing more office desks.
Looking for advice on how to make your office safe for the return to work? Our expert team is on hand to help with any office furniture queries you have may, start a live chat now, send us an email at email@example.com or give us a call on 0800 804 4760.