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Is Working from Home Really Beneficial?

The Benefits of Working From Home Look Great On Paper... But Are They In Reality?

Let’s go back to Spring 2020 - Zoom meetings take place in your pyjamas, you can finally hit ‘snooze’ on your alarm now that you no longer have to battle the ranging commute, and flexible working means you have more time than ever to spend with your family. Without a doubt, these early days of remote working saw millions of people not want the novelty of working from home to end.

However, with one in four people projected to work from home for the foreseeable, what impact has working from home really had on the working population? Is it really beneficial for us? As we mark the year anniversary of lockdown, Pareto takes a closer look at the ‘benefits’ of working from home.  

The Psychological Impact of Working From Home

According to a survey from Pareto’s brand-new Office Outlook, ‘2021 and beyond’, in January 2021, one in five employees felt that their mental health was better when they worked in the office. Dr Dominique Steiler, professor of people, organizations, and society at Grenoble School of Business explained that “The sudden lack of physical connection can leave workers feeling they have nowhere to turn when they feel stressed or anxious”. 

Adapting to remote working can also negatively impact a person's work hours and work-life balance. Dr Steiler noted, “There's the temptation to work longer hours, and for those who don't have a home office setup there's no disconnect between home and office life”. It is no surprise then that the UK Centre for Mental Health predicted that over half a million additional UK adults would experience poor mental health during the 2020 lockdown.

Interestingly, 34% of workers polled in the same January survey by Pareto detailed that they also missed their work commute. To some, this may seem alien however, Victoria Short (CEO of Randstad UK) explained that the commute home provided a welcomed opportunity to decompress and disconnect from work-related matters. The absence of such opportunities may cause an employee who works from home to feel ‘burnout’ for a period of time.

However, working from home has proved extremely beneficial for talented individuals who do not live in big cities. 

Remote Working Can Improve Office Diversity and Access to Employment Opportunities:

Remote working has increased the number of opportunities available not only across England but globally. Certainly, the geographical requirements of traditional office working is no longer a barrier for prospective candidates, applying to remote job roles. This means that working from home is especially beneficial to those from rural towns or small communities outside of City hubs such as London and Manchester.

This is also beneficial to many businesses as they have access to an improved talent pool, by widening their search area. As a result of this, we see a more diverse workforce start to take hold as businesses are able to hire candidates from different regions, backgrounds, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. This means work environments see an increase in differing perspectives and approaches to problem-solving as they hold a better representation of staff members. 

Are you interested to learn more about whether working from home is really beneficial? Download Pareto’s brand-new Office Outlook, ‘2021 and beyond’ for a deeper analysis, now!

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