Data from the Office for National Statistics between September 2022 and January 2023 showed that 16% of the UK’s workers still work from the comfort of their homes and 28% continue to adopt a hybrid approach1.
When asked, 40% of those surveyed had worked from their homes at least once during the previous seven days. Workers around the world seem to be similarly reluctant to return to the office full time, as employees from 27 countries said they still spend an average of one and a half days working remotely.
For many employees, there was no looking back to the days of the office once they’d experienced the comfort of remote working during the lockdowns. Working from home instead of travelling to work each day has some definite perks that make it easy to understand why a larger proportion of UK workers are reluctant to give it up.
One of the most obvious advantages of remote working is that workers don’t need to grapple with the daily commute. That means no travel expenses for fuel of public transport, more time to get ready and a more relaxing start to the day.
Whereas reporting to the office for 9am means getting up and ready to a strict time schedule, working from the spare room or living room enables remote workers to take the morning routine in their stride, and all they need to do it log on.
As a workforce, we’re more conscious than ever of maintaining a health work life balance. Working from home means we get to enjoy more time with our loved ones, and the flexibility to be more present. We may still log on and off at set times, but not having the commute at the start and end of the day means more free time to enjoy the things we like.
Many workers find that working remotely means they encounter fewer distractions during the working day. The office chat may have been great for keeping us in the loop with the latest news from other departments, but working in close proximity to our co-workers can mean we lose previous time without realising during the day.
For every employee who’s fallen in love with working from their living room in their favourite slippers, there’s another who couldn’t wait to get back to the usual setup of the office. Working from home has presented its own unique set of challenges for those who enjoy the traditional 9-5 day in the office.
For one thing, many employees find themselves putting in more hours than they would if they had to leave the office to catch public transport home or make it through the rush hour. Blurring the start and finish of each day by being close to the work laptop all evening does mean that some employees are finishing that one last task long into the evening, when they would be logged off and switched off for the night.
On the one hand, having the flexibility to jump on a work request or prep for that meeting in your own time is handy, but it can also mean more and more time spent looking at the screen.
One of the biggest drawbacks of working from home is the onset of loneliness. In October 2022, Psychology Today reported that remote working had led to a rise in the numbers of workers experiencing feelings of loneliness2. Not only is this concerning from a mental health point of view, but professionally, feeling lonely can have a negative impact on employee productivity. Employees who feel lonely are also more likely to leave their roles3.
The recent statistics indicate that working from home is still working well for a large proportion of the UK’s workforce, yet bosses may need to remain mindful of the challenges certain workers encounter with remote working. While policies on remote working remain different from company to company, the expectation of it as an option looks set to stay for the foreseeable future.
We can offer property insurance including specific cover for people who are working from home.
Date: April 17, 2023
Category: Home and Property