The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions have forced many UK businesses to move employees to remote working. And although the primary driver for the work from home approach has been the global pandemic, employers are realising the benefits that it can have, not only for them, but also for their employees.
At first, many employees and business owners had mixed feelings around this new and unusual approach to work life. But as it turns out, working from home has, in some cases, actually benefited many employees and business owners by helping them save money, drastically reducing their expenses. It is not surprising that many companies are now adopting a hybrid model of home and office working moving forwards.
The money saving benefits of working from home
With commute time and travel expenses almost being reduced to zero, employees no longer need to spend hundreds of pounds on traveling to work everyday, there is no need to rush to get to a train station or sit through traffic jams and roadworks so they can be at work on time. Instead, employees are saving on travel costs, which for some amounts to hundreds of pounds each month, ultimately increasing their disposable income allowing them to either pay their creditors on time or to simply just save.
Remote working has also helped many people save money on food and reduced bad eating habits. When employees are forced to wake up early and head to work, they often end up not having enough time to have breakfast or pack themselves lunch before they leave, resulting in eating out which can easily become costly over a long period, often adding up to hundreds of pounds each month. Working from home has provided the ability to prepare fresh meals, which may result in saving money and better eating habits.
Many businesses, as a result of the work from home approach, have actually been able to scale up. This is due to the decrease in operational costs within the business, as things like rent, office furniture and equipment are no longer necessary. Thousands of businesses have also started moving towards virtual or e-meetings, some of which can host up to 100 people in one session. These factors have helped both employers and employees save on travel and accommodation.
Other benefits of working from home
Unfortunately, an office environment can often be very noisy and distracting. Whereas working in a home environment is usually less distracting with lower noise levels. Studies have shown that people who work from home are more likely to have a better work-life balance. A better work-life balance is said to increase productivity, resulting in better work ethic and an overall better quality of work produced.
Remote working tends to lead to a happier, healthier and less stressed employee. Working from home has been shown to drastically reduce stress, provide more time for hobbies and help improve personal relationships. Furthermore, working from home can also improve coworker and manager relationships because there is no longer any office politics that are present with an in-office job. Employee retention has also been positively impacted within businesses because employees are now working from home. Overall, these employees are happier and healthier and more loyal to their employer if they are working from home.
But what about office working?
There is no doubt that working in the office offers some distinct perks, but many people have missed the social aspect, the team morale and the in-person collaboration as well as simple things that we take for granted, such as office supplies, free tea and coffee and good WiFi connection.
Some people have found being at home challenging as they have been in complete isolation, living alone and only interacting with their co-workers virtually, which may have taken its toll on their mental wellbeing. Others have struggled to “switch off” at the end of their working day. For some, the commute home was a place to unwind and leave their working cares behind. Moving from one room to the next doesn’t quite have the same impact.
Let’s also not forget those people who have struggled with balancing homeschooling and home-working during the pandemic. Thankfully this looks to be over, but was certainly a challenge for some parents during the early lockdowns.
Smaller businesses that rely on staff being in the office, such as local sandwich and coffee shops may have been particularly hard hit as well as those businesses that have still had to pay rent despite the offices being empty.
The UK Government has now said that people no longer need to continue to work from home which may or may not be welcome news to you. Whatever your thoughts on home working vs office working, it needs to be right for you. If you have concerns about returning to the office – or about the mental health impacts on remaining at home, speak to your employer in the first instance.
Are you struggling to pay your debts due to the negative effects of the pandemic? Are you worried that your costs will increase as you may have to return to working from the office and you will start to struggle in the near future? Debt Movement is here to offer you debt guidance with a selection of debt management solutions and financial advice. Request a free call back today.