Covid-19 has had a major impact on the acceptance of working from home. The pandemic gave people no choice but to work from home and employers were shown that the majority of the time the quality of work was maintained. The opportunity to work from home has been particularly valuable for people returning to work after a career break as it has allowed people to have the flexibility to be around for their children when needed and not give up a job that previously would have required travel at difficult times.
There are many occasions in life where the opportunity to work from home could be invaluable for people, such as being ill or needing to look after a child and moving forward. Many people feel that working from home should still be an option. For many employers it will be difficult to argue that certain work cannot be done from home as over the last 18 months, it has been proven to be possible.
Benefits of in-office work
However, speaking to a number of people in the industry there is still the view that going into the office has a place of importance. For some people it would have been near impossible to start their job at home without meeting their colleagues and being in the office. Particularly for young people at the start of their career it is important that they have the opportunity to experience the community and mentorship that comes with being around other colleagues. People have also found that whilst Zoom meetings are very helpful if it is difficult to travel to meet, they also come with technical hitches and miscommunication. Sometimes people feel that it’s harder to have group discussions across Zoom and online platforms as some colleagues may take over or contribute less.
The hybrid model: the future of working?
Therefore, many have said that a hybrid or flexible model of work would be ideal and employers should consider this moving forward. Allowing people to come into work for some days of the week, but then also having tasks that can be done at home. Particularly to allow for the potential for people to work from home when they are sick or looking after someone to avoid it being considered sick or unpaid leave.