Having recently taken the step to close our high street office and move to a more flexible approach, we thought it would be helpful to share the process we went through before making that decision. Ultimately, it’s different for every company depending on their needs and the location of their teams. For us, as we’re all within a twenty mile radius, we just wanted to know whether we needed a fixed office any more. Almost none of our clients were immediately local, we all lived different distances from the office, and by opting for hybrid working, we also get to check out all the fabulous places on offer when we do meet.
Working from home may not be for everyone. Whilst some folks can really get into their swing and buckle down to some deep work, others are left missing the social aspect and the change of location from where they live and work. Beware of these potential pitfalls:
- Isolation and loneliness: Working from home can be isolating, and some people may miss the social interaction and support they get from colleagues in an office environment. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.
- Difficulty separating work and personal life: When you work from home, it can be challenging to separate work and personal life, which can lead to working longer hours and burnout.
- Distractions: Working from home can come with a host of distractions, from family members or roommates to pets, household chores, and personal errands.
- Lack of structure: Without the structure of a traditional office environment, some people may struggle to stay focused and productive.
- Limited career growth opportunities: Working remotely may limit opportunities for career advancement, as remote workers may not have the same access to training and development opportunities as their in-office counterparts.
On the plus side there are a number of great benefits to people working from the same place they sleep..
- Flexibility: One of the most significant benefits of working from home is the flexibility it offers. You can set your own schedule, work when you’re most productive, and manage your work and personal responsibilities more effectively.
- No commute: Not having to commute to work can save you time and money and reduce stress. You can use the time you would have spent commuting to do something else, like exercising or spending time with your family.
- Cost savings: When you work from home, you can save money on things like transportation, parking, and eating out. You may also be able to claim tax deductions for your home office expenses.
- Increased productivity: Many people find that they are more productive when working from home, as they have fewer distractions and interruptions. This can lead to a better work-life balance and less stress.
- Improved health and well-being: Working from home can reduce stress and improve mental health by providing a more relaxed and comfortable environment. You can also take breaks more frequently to stretch, exercise, or take care of personal needs.
- Access to a broader job market: Working from home can give you access to job opportunities anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. This can expand your career prospects and increase your earning potential.
So what about a bit of both? Today I feel like we’re all familiar with what hybrid working is, also known as ‘blended working. As the name would suggest, it’s is a working arrangement where employees split their time between working remotely and working from a physical office. As we all know, it’s become increasingly popular since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a guide to getting the most out of your hybrid working plan:
- Establish clear expectations: It’s important to establish clear expectations for both employees and employers when it comes to hybrid working. This includes establishing work hours, communication methods, and expectations for productivity and performance.
- Ensure a secure and accessible remote work environment: Employers should ensure that employees have access to the necessary tools and resources to effectively work from home, including a secure internet connection, appropriate software and hardware, and virtual private network (VPN) access if needed.
- Define a communication strategy: Communication is key when it comes to hybrid working. Employers should establish a communication strategy that includes regular check-ins and meetings, as well as guidelines for when and how to communicate with colleagues and managers.
- Provide opportunities for team-building: When employees are working remotely, it can be difficult to build and maintain strong team relationships. Employers should provide opportunities for team-building, such as virtual team-building activities or in-person team-building events.
- Establish a schedule for in-person meetings: In-person meetings can be important for team collaboration and building relationships. Employers should establish a schedule for in-person meetings, whether it’s once a week, once a month, or as needed.
- Offer flexibility: One of the biggest benefits of hybrid working is flexibility. Employers should offer flexibility in work hours and schedules to accommodate employees’ needs.
- Monitor employee well-being: Working remotely can be isolating and can have an impact on employee well-being. Employers should monitor employee well-being and provide support if needed.
- Continuously evaluate and adjust: Hybrid working is a new and evolving work arrangement. Employers should continuously evaluate and adjust their approach to ensure it’s working for both employees and the organization.
By following these guidelines, you can successfully implement a hybrid working arrangement that benefits both employees and the organization. Here’s a quick lowdown on the good, the bad and the ugly of hybrid working from someone else… https://hrnews.co.uk/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-of-hybrid-working/