There is a trend in the UK that started before the COVID-19 pandemic, with a 5% increase in the number of employees working from home in 2019 and roughly 30% of the workforce indicating that they have ever worked from home.
As the pandemic advanced, we saw a dramatic increase (46.6%) in the work from home category, as people moved to online businesses like website designing, running your own white label casinos, such as one that can be seen at Lucky Clover Spins, e-commerce, and many more online businesses.
Working from home during government-mandated lockdowns changed people’s perceptions of how work can be organised. In the long run, working from home can benefit certain employees’ health and productivity. Flexibility in the workplace has the potential to reduce inequities, but the advantages are not uniformly dispersed throughout the population.
Obstacles and Possibilities
Many employees were unfamiliar with the concept of working from home prior to the lockdown. Homeworkers in the UK in 2014 were roughly two-thirds self-employed, a significant difference between employees and independent contractors. People’s ability and willingness to work from home differ widely among industries, occupations, and geographic locations. Only around 10% of employees in the transportation and storage, lodging, and food service industries have ever worked from home, compared to about 50% of employees in website designing, marketing, communication, and professional and scientific industries.
Those with greater levels of education and training were more likely to do their job from home than those with lower levels of education and training. In comparison to the rest of the UK, London, the Southeast, and the Southwest had a higher percentage of people who worked from home. It has been shown that remote working is linked to higher levels of job satisfaction, in part because of more autonomy and better work-life balance, or less friction between work and family. Although this may lead to increased workload, social and professional isolation, and a perception of risk to professional growth, it can also be beneficial. The return on investment goes down as the amount of time spent working from home goes up.
When it comes to being able to work from home, a lot depends on whether the job necessitates the use of specialised tools, equipment, or even just being close to co-workers. Employees can work from home if they have access to and the abilities necessary to use technology in specific situations. In general, the pandemic has been a success, with individuals adapting rapidly and working successfully from home, and early negative effects on mental health decreasing with time. However, difficulties have arisen, and parents, caregivers, and those in charge of people management have had to put in long hours and deal with the stress of home education and the blurring of the lines between work and home life.
In the wake of COVID-19, researchers have discovered a latent need for permanent flexible work arrangements, such as working from home and hybrid office-home working. Work-life balance, job happiness, and inclusiveness for employees with specific kinds of disabilities might all benefit from more flexible work arrangements. Moreover, gender norms can be accelerated, and jobs for women can benefit from more time spent by dads caring for their children during this age. Visas for remote workers are already being issued by several nations, allowing individuals to remain and work in their home countries.
Experts, on the flip side, are concerned about the risks to workers’ health and safety, as well as the privacy and security of their personal information. The pandemic’s influence on employment and capacity to work, including socioeconomic age, gender, position, education, ethnicity, and location, is also of concern to experts. Since the pandemic, more women than men have been forced out of the workforce due to their increased responsibility for caring for sick loved ones.
There has been a shortage of acceptable workstations for young employees who live in shared housing and bedsits. Wages, the housing market, and city centres can all be affected by the long-term growth of working from home.
Key Questions Remain Unanswered
Many variables might sway predictions of future flexible employment, making it impossible to make an educated guess regarding the number of people who will be employed in this way. The long-term influence of working from home on organisational culture and productivity is unknown. Increased use of technology in the workplace and long-term working from home may have unintended consequences for health and well-being. Flexible work arrangements will have a positive impact on the economy and society, but the advantages will not be shared evenly by all members of society. Working from home may reduce carbon emissions in the summer, but in the winter, it may lead to an increase.