Is remote working still favoured for UK based employers and employees today? | Moorepay
July 3, 2024

Is remote working still favoured for UK based employers and employees today?

Current work trends in the UK suggest that there is more focus than ever being given to the subject of remote working, with more organisations wanting a move back into the office, we discuss some advantages and disadvantages of remote working in 2024 and beyond!

Is remote working still effective for UK organisations?

Before the pandemic, remote and hybrid working had been gradually increasing in the UK. Between January and December 2019, around 12% of the workforce had worked at least one day from home in the previous week, and 5% reported working mainly from home. During the pandemic, these numbers surged to around 49% working at least one day from home in June 2020, with 11% exclusively working from home. Since then, as pandemic restrictions eased, the numbers have gradually decreased but remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.

As of September 2022, approximately 22% of the workforce had worked at least one day from home in the previous week, and 13% worked from home exclusively.

The subsequent easing of lockdowns saw more people traveling to work and fewer working from home. Overall, remote and hybrid working has become more prevalent, offering benefits such as increased wellbeing, productivity, and work satisfaction, as well as new ways to collaborate through technology.

But what are the challenges for employee’s working remotely?

Remote working has its advantages, but it also comes with challenges. Here are some common ones:

1. Isolation and Loneliness: Working from home can lead to feelings of isolation, especially if you’re used to a bustling office environment. Lack of social interaction can impact mental health.

2. Communication Challenges: Remote teams rely heavily on digital communication tools, which may not always convey nuances effectively. Misunderstandings can occur due to text-based communication.

3. Work-Life Balance: When your home becomes your office, it’s easy to blur the boundaries between work and personal life. Maintaining a healthy balance can be challenging.

4. Distractions: Home environments can be noisy or filled with distractions (kids, pets, and household chores). Staying focused on work can be tough.

5. Technology Issues: Unreliable internet, software glitches, and hardware problems can disrupt productivity.

6. Lack of Supervision: Some people thrive with structure and supervision. Remote work requires self-discipline and self-motivation.

7. Ergonomic Challenges: Improper home office setups can lead to physical discomfort or strain (e.g., back pain and eye strain).

8. Time Zone Differences: If you collaborate with colleagues across different time zones, scheduling meetings and coordinating work can be tricky.

9. Security Concerns: Remote work introduces cybersecurity risks. Protecting sensitive data and maintaining secure connections are essential.

10. Career Growth: Remote workers may miss out on networking opportunities and face challenges in career advancement.

So, how can you take back control and combat any challenges as a remote worker?

Here are some strategies to overcome the difficulties of remote working:

1. Isolation and Loneliness:

– Regular Check-Ins: Schedule virtual coffee breaks or team catch-ups to maintain social connections.

– Join Online Communities: Participate in industry forums or interest groups to connect with like-minded professionals.

2. Communication Challenges:

– Use Video Calls: Whenever possible, opt for video calls to enhance communication.

– Clarify Expectations: Be explicit in your messages and ask for clarification when needed.

3. Work-Life Balance:

– Set Boundaries: Designate a workspace and establish clear start and end times for work.

Take Breaks: Regular breaks help recharge and maintain focus.

4. Distractions:

– Create a Distraction-Free Zone: Minimise interruptions by setting up a dedicated workspace.

– Time Blocking: Allocate specific time blocks for focused work.

5. Technology Issues:

– Backup Internet Connection: Have a backup plan (e.g., mobile hotspot) in case of internet outages.

– Update Software Regularly: Keep your tools and applications up to date.

6. Lack of Supervision:

– Self-Management Tools: Use task management apps or time-tracking tools to stay organised.

– Set Goals: Define daily or weekly goals to stay motivated.

7. Ergonomic Challenges:

– Ergonomic Setup: Invest in an ergonomic chair, keyboard, and monitor.

Take Stretch Breaks: Stretch and move periodically to reduce strain.

8. Time Zone Differences:

– Overlap Hours: Identify common working hours with colleagues in different time zones.

– Flexible Scheduling: Adjust your work hours to accommodate team meetings.

9. Security Concerns:

– Use Secure Networks: Avoid public Wi-Fi for sensitive work tasks.

– Encrypt Files: Protect confidential data with encryption tools.

10. Career Growth:

– Attend Virtual Conferences: Participate in online events to network and learn.

– Seek Mentorship: Connect with mentors virtually to discuss career development.

Remember, adapting to remote work takes time, so be patient with yourself and continuously refine your strategies.

The policy team offer consultancy to discuss hybrid and remote working policies – please contact the policy team directly for a quote today! You can email or call 0845 073 0240 for assistance.

Interested in more content on remote working? Check out our recent webinar on making your workplace worth the commute.

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Stephen Johnson
About the author

Stephen Johnson

Stephen has over 25 years experience in private sector HR and management roles, working as a Manager for over 10 years and eventually moving into the financial services industry. In his current role as an HR Policy Review Consultant he develops, reviews and maintains our clients’ employment documentation. With extensive knowledge of management initiatives and HR disciplines Stephen is commercially focused and supports clients in delivering their business objectives whilst minimising the risk of litigation.

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