Looking to the future: remote working
As lockdown continues to ease, your business is likely considering how the future of your office looks now that your employees have spent considerable time remote working from home.
While some roles require an office environment, many can be performed just as well remotely, with many reporting that their performance has gone up during this period of working from home.
There are plenty of reasons why your business should consider going remote to some extent, from making you a more attractive prospect to top talent to saving costs in running a dedicated office space. We take a look at what you need to consider if you’re looking at facilitating a more flexible work environment going forward:
Costs – If you are serious about allowing your employees to work remotely, this would eliminate the need for an office big enough to accommodate your entire workforce. Instead, you could hire spaces as and when you needed to work together in person. It would also mean that expensive travel costs wouldn’t need to be consolidated with a higher salary.
Talent acquisition and retention – Staff you would otherwise lose as their daily commute becomes too much would be more likely to stay. And when looking for the very best person to suit a new role, your options wouldn’t be narrowed to your region.
Productivity – If you’ve found that productivity has increased while your staff have been working from home, maybe it’s time to look at making this a more permanent arrangement. Being able to talk to a colleague face to face is essential for some people, but others struggle to work in a busy office environment.
Reduced absence – Research from Canada Life showed that those who worked in an office took 3.1 sick days a year on average, compared with 1.8 homeworkers. This discrepancy could be explained by the fact that office workers would be more inclined to take the whole day off just to avoid going into work when unwell. Allowing them to work from home instead, if they feel up to it, means they can still get some work done without putting them under pressure to be “present” both physically and in spirit at the office.
If you’re sold on the idea of remote working, there are a couple of things to consider:
Flexibility – Homeworking is not for everyone. Some employees thrive on the very buzz that hinders the productivity of others. Once your staff can safely return to the office, give them the option if you want to get the very best from them.
Data – Anyone who processes or controls data will need to take measures to ensure that this data is safe and secure when outside the office. Have a policy in place if they intend to work elsewhere, such as a cafe or on a train, to avoid a data breach.
Insurance – Talk to your insurance broker to check whether your business insurance, specifically employers’ liability, public liability and business equipment, can be extended to encompass those working from home.
Thinking of going down the remote-working route on a more permanent basis for your business? Talk to Lockyers to find out more about how your insurance can continue to provide cover beyond the office.