According to research more than 60% of the UK workforce now practise some form of flexible working, including remote working.
On 26 February, it was reported that Chevron had told its 300 UK staff to work from home following fears that a worker at Canary Wharf may have contracted coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the growing concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to suggestions that employees should gear up for flexible working in the event that the virus spreads in the UK.
If you are a company considering remote working, a good starting point would be to consult your IT provider. Are your systems geared up for a change in working practice? Do you need to improve your IT infrastructure.
Regardless of the possibility of coronavirus causing mass absenteeism, what are the general benefits of remote working?
- Less commuting time.
- More autonomy.
- Greater flexibility.
- Better work–life balance.
- Higher productivity.
- Increased motivation.
- Reduced staff turnover.
- Reduced need for office space.
Less travel is also, of course, reducing your environmental impact and that’s becoming more important as people become increasingly awar of climate change an their own carbon footprint.
And a study in the US claimed an average benefit of $11,000 dollars a year for companies by letting their staff work at home just 50% of the time.
Clearly, there are also some challenges that you must consider. For example, some workers may feel less motivated working away from a team and managers need to strive hard to retain company values.
However, it seems that the shift is, on balance, well worth making and coronavirus may well nudge more companies to act.
If you need advice, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org , telephone 01782 264455.