The pandemic brought with it unprecedented challenges to people’s everyday lives, and for many, their working routines.
Professionals in all different industries packed up their various office supplies and relocated to the comfort of their own homes. Kitchen tables turned into hotdesks, as family photos provided the backdrop for meetings rather than corporate white walls.
But as the dust begins to settle and people have adapted to this new way of working, are there any lessons we can take from the pandemic when it comes to the future of working? We explore three potential areas where both employers and employees may have seen improvements during this time.
When the pandemic struck and businesses were forced to operate remotely, one of the chief concerns amongst managers and owners was the potential impact on productivity. Home working brings with it more opportunities to be distracted, which means it also requires a greater level of trust in employees to get the job done.
However, this working from home guide offers a more positive outlook on productivity levels amongst remote workers. Research has shown that 68% of employees have felt more productive or equally productive when working from home compared to in the office. Meanwhile in the US, 85% of employees said they were more productive at home due to the greater flexibility that this setup allowed.
These statistics go some way to suggesting that the majority of employees are able to remain productive in a home setting, which is good news for advocates of this modern approach moving forward.
When working remotely, we are forced to set our own boundaries, since everything we need to work is within reaching distance, and we could feasibly work at any time, day or night. Setting a healthy routine with strict boundaries can be a tricky thing to establish, since it’s easy to feel like you should always be available to work with this setup.
But even if your company follows strict working hours, everyone will have different routines, and will be available at different times throughout the day. It’s important to communicate this with your colleagues, and make it clear when you do or do not want to be contacted.
This notion shouldn’t be forgotten as we move out of the pandemic. Even as you move back into the office, being able to both effectively communicate your schedule and manage your time are two skills that are imperative in any workplace.
The removal of daily commutes has given many employees more free time, with the average commute to and from work in the UK taking up to 59 minutes of our day. Whilst many workers would argue that this additional time has been spent at their desk, for others, it’s provided an opportunity to focus on striking a better work-life balance.
Whether that time is spent partaking in a remote fitness class, or simply doing something else you enjoy, removing the daily commute can allow us to dedicate more time to our personal wellbeing. Going forward, whether you’re working in a remote, on-site, or hybrid approach, it’s important to remember the benefits of setting this time aside throughout the working week to help keep on top of our mental health. Even if you need to commute once again, consider ways you can better spend your travel time to look after your wellbeing.
About the author
James Ritter is a freelance writer who holds a particular interest in employee welfare, and has created content for established companies based all around the world. He has a degree in creative writing, and is always eager to expand his knowledge around different subjects.