Will working from home be the new norm?
Updated: Sep 6, 2020
As a computer repair service (we're real IT Geeks) WFH and remote solutions have always fascinated us. Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, we've seen a huge surge in remote working. This has really taken the economy by storm. We've been so captivated by this shift in working, that we decided to conduct a remote qualitative study that looked at the attitudes towards WFH across different employees. We held informal Skype discussions with employees that have started to work from home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Their responses and arguments were documented below.
When asked "Do you think about working from home?"
"Why go to the office when you can work from home. It's cheaper all around, why bother with the office?
"So many people travel for hours to just sit at a desk - makes no sense
This was inevitably going to happen. COVID just acted as an accelerator. The technology has been around for ages, the last few months have just given employers confidence that working remotely works well for employers and employees."
"COVID has pushed the reset button. People have woken up to the fact that technology has freed them from the commute and the corporate HQ. Employers have discovered new roads to additional profits by enormous savings in direct overheads as a result of WFH.."
"Goodbye dirty trains, overpriced sandwiches, packed offices and "trendy" places where a meal will set you back 200 quid. You surely won't be missed!"
"If you able to and are efficient at home then this is a great idea. Good for family life, the environment and often for the company too. I have several friends working really hard from home at the moment and so far it is working really well. There is absolutely no need for them to return to the office."
"I've been far more productive working at home - no commute time, fewer distractions than in the office etc, also have more time to do some exercise which is great from a mental and physical health perspective. Miss interacting with colleagues (not the same on 'Teams' calls) but the idea of working a couple of days a week in the office and 3 at home feels right to me - that feels like a win-win situation for both employers and employees for those who are able to work from home. Personally, I've really enjoyed it."
"An employers strategy of forcing everyone into the office for 40 hours a week only works as long as the cartel (ie every other employer) does the same. Otherwise, all your good employees will look across the road, realise they are offering flexible working .. and they'll leave you. Companies would do well to remember that they need to move with the times .. because your employees will ... with or without your company"
"Scenario 1: get up at 5 am, buy 2000 season ticket, sit on a train for 1.5 hours suited and muzzled, spend the day in a hot office, pay 3 for a coffee, 10 a sandwich, repeat train journey home, or scenario 2: get up at 8 am, turn on the computer and achieve the same job, £2for a bag of coffee (20 cups) 8 for bread and filling, (10 sandwiches- lasts all week) and sit at home in cool clothing with the windows open for fresh air. Wonder why commutes are not going back into city offices?"
"A business that relies on office workers. Sadly under the new paradigm, I can't see the situation changing very quickly at all. Workers and businesses are keen to pursue working from home based on work-life balance, cost of commute and price of office space for the employer."
Many of the respondent's attributed to working from home as a more practical solution. A large % of participants criticised the traditional way of working, many deemed attending a physical office as counterproductive and degrading. Based on our findings, we conclude that many employees will continue working from home after the pandemic, and that remote working will decimate the job market in ways most people have never seen, Companies that engage in remote working as a business strategy will gain favour amongst new and existing employees, and will appear as more attractive in terms of embracing such a phenomenon. One thing's for certain, remote working is here to stay.