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Will Flexible Working Become the Norm After Coronavirus? 

Published: Monday 27th April 2020

More than 1.54 million people already work from home in the UK. That’s more than two-fold increase from a decade ago. The Covid-19 crisis has meant these have been joined by thousands of others, as employers do what they can to keep their businesses running, in what has become the largest mass experiment in remote and flexible working in corporate history.  

The question is, now companies have been forced to allow their staff to work from home, will flexi work become the norm after the crisis has passed? 

Young working father talking on the phone while babysitting his playful daughter at home.

Flexible working arrangements means businesses are evolving 

Those companies that were unsure, or resistant, to test flexible working, have had no choice but to make that leap of faith. And while this has caused some problems, certainly when it comes to putting strain on IT infrastructure and resources, many are seeing the benefits tooBecause companies are having to upgrade their systems and processes to deal with working from home and flexible working hours, the resources will be there in future to continue these practicesWhich, in turn, means, they will be able to offer flexible working jobs to new employees. 

Flexi work benefits everyone 

These companies may already be seeing the advantages of flexible working arrangements. Research has already found that these include increased productivity with one study seeing a boost of 13% in some workers. It’s useful for attracting new talent too. One poll found that 32% of people valued a job that allowed them flexible work arrangements. 

Productivity Improvement - Concept. Productivity Improvement on Mechanism of Golden Metallic Gears with Glow Effect. Productivity Improvement on the Mechanism of Golden Cogwheels.

Remote working results in lower absenteeism, as well as lower levels of office and commuter-related stress (and the costs associated with commuting), resulting in a better work-life balance. Flexible workers have more time and money to spend on family, friends and their hobbies, making them happier employees. There may be benefits for society as a whole. Fewer people commuting means reduced pollution and road traffic accidents.  

The downsides 

Inevitably, there will also be downsides in flexible working. Many remote workers report feeling isolated and lonely, especially those who live alone. Some may go days without any real human contact. On the other side of the coin, those living in crowded household could find that noise and interruptions affects the quality of their work. Obviously, remote working won’t meet the needs of every business modelOne study found that working from home more than 2.5 days per week could negatively affect relationships with co-workers, as well as knowledge transfer.  

Young man having video conferencing call via computer. Home office. Stay at home and work from home concept during Coronavirus pandemic

Flexible working is about to go viral 

Research indicates that it takes about 66 days for a new behaviour to become a habit and new working arrangements look certain to endure for this length of timeThat gives employers plenty of time to assess and test the technology available for flexible working arrangements. Covid-19 has given employers the opportunity to let go of traditional ideas of how we manage and measure work outputs and put in place new strategies that ensure that flexible work arrangements meets the needs of their employees and their business model 

We can certainly forward to more work from home jobs than ever before in the future. And, as always Zoek will be there to help you find the best flexible working jobs for your needs 

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