Advances in technology have made it possible for more people to work from home in the UK. During the recession, more companies chose flexible workplace arrangements as a means to decrease overhead costs and safeguard jobs – and it seems as if the trend is here to stay.
There will always be those employers who believe that working from home leads to lower levels of productivity. However, a growing number of companies have come to realise that the culture of keeping staff office-bound is outdated.
There is no longer a need for employers to be in the same physical space as their workers. Remote working technology makes it possible for managers to stay connected with their teams and even measure their output when they’re working from home or on the move.
Cost benefits for both parties
Setting up an employee to work from home does not require significant investment. Most workers will need nothing more than a computer and an internet connection to get the job done; and if this is too much of an expense, it’s perfectly acceptable for a company to hire workers who already have these tools at home.
In the long run, remote working can offer companies significant cost savings because there’s no need to pay rent on office space. Employees, on the other hand, will spend less on transport.
Of course, remote working arrangements do not suit all industries. They work best for companies that can assign deadline-based jobs to staff and give them the power to manage their schedules. Provided all tasks are completed on time, there’s no reason why workers should not be given the freedom to fit their work around their lives instead of the other way around.
Finding a better balance
If given the choice, I am sure that the majority of workers in project-based jobs would opt to work flexible hours outside the office at least some of the time.
Working remotely makes it easier for people to strike a better balance between their work and personal commitments. This is an ideal solution for people with children; especially those who need to earn an income but can’t afford to pay for childcare. While there will be some juggling involved, home-based jobs do give parents an opportunity to spend more time with their children without sacrificing their careers.
When you think about it, flexible working actually presents a significant opportunity for businesses to save money, improve employee morale and boost productivity.
Technology can add hours to the working week
While communication technology makes remote working possible, it can also lead to overworking. Some people find it difficult to switch off from their jobs when the working day is over; and continue to check and reply to emails on their smartphones or laptops in their leisure time.
If used wisely, however, it certainly seems as if remote working technology could change the face of the UK’s working landscape as people realise that there are many fulfilling career opportunities to explore that don’t include spending eight hours a day in an office. A happier, more motivated workforce will have a positive impact on the economy, too.
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