Around this time last year, the UK, alongside most of the world, was plunged into its first lockdown and the era of working from home (WFH) began. One year later, employees are still in the same position and many international companies are announcing renewed contracts with working from home becoming the norm.
As an online English teacher, I was working from home long before the pandemic started so I am used to the environment but I can certainly imagine the shock for many not having the social interaction and staff meetings that are ingrained into their daily routine.
When I spoke to many friends and family finding themselves in this WFH scenario last year, many were extremely happy. WFH means less time spent commuting, less money spent on travel and day-time shopping and you can even get a rebate from the UK government for resources used when working from home. Work time became more flexible, you could wake up later, have cups of tea during meetings and feel comfortable in your home (wearing pyjamas!)
Many were excited about this new prospect of WFH and took full advantage and companies started to realise this way of work could potentially be successful in the long-term.
However, a year on, many people I have spoken to are fed up with working at home. They feel isolated, stressed, are losing motivation and miss that social interaction that is so essential in the workplace. With the UK still being in full lockdown, there is very little to do in the time off work, so many simply continue with their work and find very little work-life balance.
I have worked in schools, academies and at students’ homes for many years but now I absolutely love working from home. I can be completely comfortable at my house and look after my pets during the day. It is true that it can be isolating sometimes and I can imagine this being much harder if you live alone. WFH requires a lot of self-discipline not only to work effectively and not be distracted but to decide when to separate work from your home and your social life.
So, is WFH going to continue after this pandemic? Will organisations realise the cost and productivity benefits for employees? Will employees be fed up and beg to be back in the office?
Let us know what you think about WFH in the comments below!