Blurred lines: Working from home or away?

With remote working becoming a permanent solution for most businesses in the UK, is everyone truly relishing the change or relishing in despair over working and living in the same environment?

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A fascinating article in The Guardian newspaper by Rebecca Seal, has taken a close look as well as providing her own personal account, on how others around the country are adopting and dealing with the new changes to their work life. 

In the article, Seal highlights how technology is viewed to be the saviour and provider of our new work needs. One LA-based tech company, PORTL Inc, promises that in five years' time, we will be able to view our colleagues via a life-sized hologram, rather than having to rely on your computer wifi having a good day to show them clearly on your zoom call. While this is great for us to continue to find new and improved ways to work and live with tech, will this help us fully reach our potential in a virtual remote workplace?

Work meetings and events have been moved to online, companies have rushed to upgrade their digital platforms and sofas have become our new office chairs. In regard to the latter, companies are looking to decrease their office space, or even get rid of them altogether. According to a recent study by Morgan Stanley, only 34% of UK workers have actually gone back to the office. Companies such as Facebook have said that 50% of their jobs will be remote within 10 years and Twitter is letting nearly all their workforce to work from home indefinitely. 

Architectural firm Selencky Parsons, have got their team back in the office after noticing a lack of enthusiasm on virtual calls when the staff was working from home during the height of the pandemic.  

“Most of our employees are young, and they don’t have massive homes to work in,” says co-founder David Parsons. “And that was fine for about 10 weeks, but what started to worry me was a lack of enthusiasm in the team.”

He also worried that employees felt lonely and noticed a drop in productivity, despite there being plenty of work.

"It wasn’t that people weren’t working as hard. It was that they weren’t getting to the answers as quickly – not feeling like they could call and ask any question, at any time, as they would if they were physically next to us.” He was also concerned that younger team members were out on both formal and informal incidental learning. Rebecca Seal shared that remote working seems to be better for the workers who have more job experience and a bigger home space to work from.

To read the full Guardian article, click here.

At simply, we recently held a roundtable discussion exploring how our community members are managing back to the workplace communication. We'll share findings from the discussion soon.


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