The pandemic brought a lot of changes to our businesses, some good and some bad. One that has continued to be a topic of conversation is the desire for more people to be able to work some, or all, of the time from home.
If your business requires people to be onsite – such as a coffee shop, a factory, or a dental practice, for instance – your staff would have little choice about where they are working. But for administrative roles, or those that could be done from anywhere in the world with a phone, a computer and an internet connection, the argument for getting people to come into the office is a harder one to win.
Employers reluctant to allow workers free rein
Some employers are reluctant to allow their employees to work from home, perhaps because they fear they will get less done there than they would in the office. But various pieces of research show that allowing employees more freedom about where and when they work increases productivity rather than decreasing it.
There are fewer distractions when employees work from home compared to the office, and the ability to work as and when it suits them often results in people being more productive than when they are being forced to work specific hours.
A recent report from the ACCA – UK Talent Trends in Finance 2023 – found that the UK is leading the way when it comes to hybrid and remote working.
Jamie Lyon, head of Skills, Sectors and Technology at ACCA, said: “Only one-fifth of respondents in the UK identified as fully office based, with the remaining 80% either adopting a hybrid approach to work or being fully remote. However, globally, the picture is notably different, with over half of respondents being fully office based. And 77% of respondents in the UK feel they are more productive when working remotely.”
Could hybrid working be good for your employees?
Many companies are already allowing some staff to work from home at least part of the time. But if your business isn’t one of them, you may want to consider adding this as an option.
It can provide various benefits, including:
- Being more inclusive for employees who find it difficult to juggle their home and work life around specific office hours.
- Greater productivity.
- Improved employee wellbeing because they have more control over their working and home life.
- Greater flexibility in allowing employees to change their approach based on what the business needs at a particular time.
However, not every employee is keen to work from home. Some people prefer to be in the office full time as they thrive in this more social environment. So, bear this in mind when you are creating hybrid working policies.
Are there other benefits to your business?
One other major benefit to the business could be the reduced amount of office space needed. If your company owns its office building, you may be able to let out part of that building to another business to benefit from additional income. Alternatively, if you use rented office space such as WeWork, you may be able to reduce the size of the office you need there and cut your monthly outgoings.
You may also consider offering employees a one-off payment to set up their home office to ensure they don’t end up with work-related injuries, such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) from having a poor posture at work because they are using the wrong type of chair or desk and so on. Any saving you can make on office space could be used to offset this payment, and remember it would also be tax deductible.
We can help you
If you are considering hybrid working as part of your business strategy, then please get in touch with us and we can help you understand the benefits and costs that could be involved.