As the nation continues to work from home for the most part, more than half of those currently working from home say being without the office has changed their lives for the better, new data reveals.
The research, conducted by business telecommunications provider, 4Com, delves into workers’ attitudes towards working from home, revealing what the biggest challenges are, and if they think working away from the office is a viable solution long-term.
The findings show that nearly six in ten Brits believe working from home has improved their working lives, whereas less than half this amount claimed working from home hasn’t had any impact on their working life and just 18% said working from home had, in fact, made their work life worse.
Interestingly, more women than men agree that working from home has changed their lives for the better, and while 21% of men said working from home has made their lives worse, just 16% of women said the same.
However, being away from the usual everyday working environment certainly has its difficulties, and the research found that Brits believe the top three challenges in adapting to working from home, are:
- Communication with colleagues
- Social interaction
- Work-life balance
Communication and social interaction are the biggest challenges UK workers face while working from home, and with one in five people living by themselves during lockdown, it’s incredibly important to maintain social interaction with colleagues, especially those you know are by themselves.
On 13th May, the UK Government said all those who cannot work from home should return to work, and with working from home looking like the way of life for many Brits for the foreseeable future, do companies have the sufficient technology to support remote working long-term?
Over eight in ten respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that their company does have the capability to support long-term remote working, with one in ten disagreeing with this statement. Nine per cent of respondents claimed they didn’t know if their company had sufficient technology, suggesting that more will need to be done before a switch to mass home working long-term.
Leor Franks, CMO at legal services firm Augusta, certainly believes working from home has helped improve his work-life balance. “Lockdown has allowed me to spend time at home with my two young kids and help them with schooling, whereas previously I worked long hours and travelled internationally, so barely saw them during the week. I have also been able to use the time spent on my usual two-hour commute on a new exercise regime, which has been great.”
And Becky Taylor, a marketing manager from Manchester agrees: “I used to spend a lot of my time commuting in and out of work, and I am loving the fact that I don’t need to do that anymore. On a morning, I allow myself more of a lie-in than I could ever get before I started working from home, and it’s great on an evening that I can switch off from work at 5pm, do some exercise, make dinner and have nothing else to do in the evening, all by the time I’d normally be getting home from work. I feel I have a lot more free time which has made me happier and more relaxed, although I do miss seeing my colleagues and wearing normal clothes everyday!”
Commenting on the research, Mark Pearcy, Head of Marketing at 4Com, says: “The global health pandemic has completely transformed the way we live our lives, including the way we work. Remote working is set to be the future for many, and we expect employees to be looking at how their companies can better support home working from now on, especially when searching for new roles. Working from home has many benefits for employers and employees alike, including a happier workforce, which helps increase staff retention, and a more flexible way of life for workers to best fit in with their daily lives and schedules.
“However, our research finds that communication and social interaction are the biggest challenges we face while working from home, and it has truly never been as important to keep in touch with those we work with. Pick up the phone to a colleague who’s been silent, encourage video chats so you can speak ‘face-to-face’ and chat about topics outside of work. Not only will this help make us feel happier and more connected to our colleagues, but it will help maintain a sense of normalcy at this difficult time.”