It seems that the nation is divided now that we have the option to return to the office and resume some kind of pre-Covid normality.
For many, working remotely is something they want to continue to embrace going forward, while for others, getting back into the routine that working in an office provides couldn’t have happened soon enough.
And I get it.
Working remotely is one thing when you have the luxury of choice and can choose your place of work, but being forced to work from home isn’t everybody’s ideal scenario, especially if sharing your home with children, students and/or a partner who is also having to work from home.
It’s not really the idyllic picture that’s conjured up when people talk about remote working!
Many organisations seem to have adopted a flexible approach when it comes to supporting their workforce, giving employees the choice to work from anywhere including returning to the office.
Some organisations with large teams are continuing to keep everyone working remotely while they prepare for a Covid-friendly return to the office, while others are taking an even more flexible approach, offering staff the chance to alternate between working remotely and working in the office.
Which is all great stuff.
Pre-Covid, it felt impossible to get organisations on board with the flexible and remote working business model, so it’s a breath of fresh air to hear that they’re embracing a new way of working.
However, it’s important not to overlook remote workers who have always been remote, or the employees who choose to remain remote.
When we’re all in the same boat it’s easier to continue as normal, or as normal as possible, but a segmented team through choice will still need to learn to adapt, to ensure that all members of the team feel engaged and part of the team.
Research in the past has shown us the realities of working remotely, such as loneliness and isolation, but I worry that this may actually increase now that some members of teams can return to the office.
Will remote workers now feel even more isolated because their teammates are no longer experiencing the same working environment than them?
When it comes to setting up an office space, firstly, employers might approach their in-house design team or experts (such as the ones at Studio DB, for example) that tend to specialize in renovating commercial space. Some companies place a large emphasis on employee safety too. For example, some companies might look into the benefits of Commercial Window Tinting to ensure the office is energy efficient and secure. This is obviously optional but it’s a great addition to any workplace, especially in city centers. Offices are often set up for the comfort of employees working in them, with ergonomic desk chairs, good lighting, large windows, areas to relax, and heating and air conditioning that is properly maintained by a commercial air conditioning contractor. Those working at home, however, may not have access to any of these luxuries, with many employees living in homes too small to accommodate an ergonomic desk and too badly heated to be a comfortable temperature for working. Will these issues be forgotten about?
It will be interesting to see whether those who return to the office will simply forget about their remote working experience and get caught up in the office bubble again, with remote working a distant memory.
This is one of the main challenges that we wanted to tackle when we developed Wurkr, because an engaged workforce is a productive workforce. We wanted to create something that would help the team to work seamlessly, as if they’re all in the office, even if they’re not.
Research from Finder UK shows that:
- 65% of workers said they would be more productive in a home office than a normal office.
- 75% of workers say they will be more productive due to reduced distractions.
- 83% of employees feel they do not need an office to be productive.
- Two-thirds of employers report increased productivity for remote workers compared to in-office workers.
We can see the benefits of remote work and we also appreciate the benefits of working in an office environment, so an ideal scenario would be to eradicate feelings of loneliness and learn to embrace a remote and distanced team so that they don’t feel remote and distant.
Annil and I feel that Wurkr is the solution in bringing a very modern way of working to life and making it the norm rather than a flash-in-the-pan idea that sounds great on paper, nightmare to execute effectively.
Let’s keep our colleagues engaged and integrated..wherever they work from.