Due to the current pandemic, there have been reports that the UK is moving towards a permanent shift towards home working, with a large number of employees embracing remote working.
Whilst many have enjoyed this new way of life, finding a better work/life balance and with the view of moving to a flexible working week, there is a small population that has found remote working incredibly challenging and are less likely to continue remote working once the pandemic is over.
Some of the issues remote workers have included the following:
Working too much
A lot of business owners and managers worry that employees working from home will ‘slack’ off or will be less productive. However, it has been found that remote working results in an increase in productivity levels and often leads to overworking.
When personal and professional life is lived under one roof, it can be difficult to distinguish the two. Often with work being thought about in downtime and leading to the inability to switch off or keep to normal working hours.
If you are someone that struggled to be self-motivated or is used to time being managed in a traditional office environment, then remote working could be a challenge for you. Remote working requires you to be able to prioritise your workload, manage your time effectively, and sticking to a self-made schedule.
This can lead to skipping lunch, writing numerous to-do lists only to scrap them, and rewrite them as things come in and it can lead again to overworking.
Not only do you have a workload to manage, but home life can also get in the way, leading on to…
Working from home can mean that your children, pets, or the people you live with can cause interruptions to your daily working life that wouldn’t normally happen in an office environment.
Whether it’s the doorbell going mid-meeting, to the dustbin men making a racket, there is always going to be something that is grabbing your attention away from work. (Unless you have the luxury of being able to shut yourself away or living alone!)
Remote working can also be a huge challenge when you have changes happening in your personal life such as a house move (disconnecting and reconnecting the internet and phone lines can interfere with work-life!) and lots more.
Isolation can be an issue for those working from home, especially if you’re the type of person that needs that office stimulation, the brainstorming sessions, and more.
Although tools such as Slack, Teams, and Zoom can replace those meetings, it doesn’t replace the human interaction of being in the same room together or creating a vibe or atmosphere to breed innovation and ideas.
This is particularly a problem for creative types, where turning to a colleague to use as a soundboard or to have a generic chat through ideas can make the world of difference.
Communication Issues and Being Out of the Loop
Communication is key in all and every relationship. So if you’re not able to keep in touch with your teams regularly, then you may start to feel as though the communication is fractured or you’re starting to come out of the loop.
This can impact on work and projects but also with colleague relationships. If you used to chat every day but now you’re not getting that opportunity, you could be feeling as though you’re missing out.
Weak internet that drops in and out, buffering on video calls, issues with software or programs… the list goes on.
In the office, you’re most likely to have business class equipment and tools, at home, perhaps not so much.
Many people that are suddenly working from home have had to construct a place to work in the study, the living room, the bedroom, or even the garage to get the space they need to create a room that is suitable for working in. And this can mean that there is lacking when it comes to the quality of the equipment needed.
All in all, the problems listed above can be solved. If a move to home working is on the cards and is to become a permanent fixture in working life, then most of these can have a resolution that will work. Whether it is upgrading to better internet, using scheduling and time management software, having a day in the office once a week, or holding monthly meetups… the list goes on.
However, for those that may work remotely in the future, but want to hold onto the sense of office life that traditional office work provides, a flexible working space such as the serviced office suites we provide, might just be the perfect compromise.
Offering all of the tools you’d need to work efficiently and effectively, as well as providing a sense of community and innovation working alongside other businesses or start-ups, the flexible office space is a strong contender to replace traditional office workplaces.
The beauty of flexible office space is that they are in convenient and sought-after locations, they allow a better work/life balance for those who have distractions at home, and they offer an environment in which most people can thrive, whilst also providing the flexibility that remote working has.