Although many employees have returned to the office over the summer months, 45% of workers are extremely or very interested in making the shift to permanent post-pandemic homeworking. A new study has revealed the most popular benefits of working from home for UK workers, with saving time (58%), saving money (54%) and more flexibility (50%) topping the list.
The thought of heading back to close contact within a noisy and busy office will fill many with dread. With so many people successfully working from home, being ordered back into an office is a less than appealing proposition for some. As society tries to return to a semblance of normality, albeit still with the virus still in the air, many employers are now asking their workers to return to the office.
However, as much as some employers will feel this is a good thing and the right move, a new study shows the positive benefits of working from home and why some business professionals aren’t yet ready to return to office life.
Research published in The New Art of Business, a report by RADA Business, the organisational performance arm of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, has found that 68% of UK adults were working from home at the beginning of the national lockdown, with 41% on a full-time basis.
Despite this drastic change to the working environment, many have enjoyed the freedom working from home affords them, with saving time (58%), saving money (54%), having more flexibility (50%) and spending more time with family (42%) being reported as the major benefits of homeworking.
In addition, 35% said that they have more rest, 25% have healthier habits, while 20% feel more productive, demonstrating how this shift in working culture has impacted individuals’ overall wellbeing.
It’s clear that communication hasn’t suffered for many organisations either, with technology filling the gap and compensating for the lack of face-to-face contact between employees – the research found 1 in 5 homeworkers used online collaboration tools, such as Trello or Slack, to help maintain links with their colleagues.
Online business networking also saw usage rise, with up to 26% of homeworkers making use of these tools during the lockdown.
Many of these benefits and the ability to successfully communicate with their team from home has resulted in 45% of workers saying they are either extremely or very interested in making a permanent shift to homeworking post-pandemic.
Even for those that don’t want a permanent change, 80% say they still want the option to work from home, even if it’s only an occasional arrangement. This clearly shows how accustomed workers have become to this flexibility.
The research found only 20% of workers would be reluctant to say goodbye to a permanent office-based role.
Charlie Walker-Wise, Tutor and Services Director at RADA Business, comments on the findings: “It’s clear from the findings that there are numerous benefits to working from home, with many workers realising they can be time-rich, reduce financial outgoings, make time for personal wellbeing and be better connected with friends and family.
“Communication has had to adapt significantly during the pandemic, and organisations have had to utilise the technology available to mitigate this loss of face-to-face contact, whether that be to help teams connect or simply taking their business offering online, as RADA Business did with virtual training.
As long as we adjust to this setting effectively and adapt our communication styles, then we can still successfully work with others both virtually or in person. And the next challenge will be navigating hybrid working, partly from home and partly from the office, and supporting employees to find the right communication method and style for different settings.”
To read more about RADA Business, please visit radabusiness.com.
To view the RADA Business’s research in greater detail, click here.
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