Business

The rise of the flexible schedule: 98% of workers occasionally want to leave the office

We are three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, and remote working is now more critical than ever. 35% of the employees who can work remotely choose to perform their duties from the comfort of their homes all the time and would opt for this alternative even in the case of an open office where they could return to.

Working from home is not just an increasingly common practice and game-changer for businesses but also a demand from workers. With the emergence of tech tools like cloud storage, team chat applications and video conferencing, employees see no reason to return to their offices when remote work seems to suit their lifestyles better while maintaining or improving the quality of their work.

For more and more companies, arranging office settings to accommodate employees is a thing of the past. The business landscape has changed forever, and it is unlikely that future generations will have the opportunity to engage in actual teamwork or office cohabitation. And on the other hand, they won’t deal with work-related injuries, distractions, relocation hurdles, or other inconveniences that office jobs involve.  

What working trends will reshape the corporate world, and what do employees want from their jobs?

Employees only see advantages to working remotely

Remote work is seen favourably and is demanded by 98% of employees, who want to be able to join this work model at least from time to time, if not permanently. They’re asking for this derogation for reasons like the following:

  • To get more rest and improve their sleeping patterns since they won’t lose time on transportation
  • To cut transportation expenses and prevent the related risks and accidents they’re subjected to when commuting
  • To reduce rent and house costs since they’re not required to live close to their place of employment  
  • To have more educational opportunities and enrol in different courses.

Needless to say, the reasons why workers want remote models are more than apparent. Some advantages of remote work apply to both the employer and the employee, ranging from improved mental health to a lower risk of workplace accidents.

Remote work can benefit both the employer and the employee

Although many employees have demonstrated that they can conduct their tasks just as efficiently, if not even better, employers still need to develop practical solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of their employees and adapt to a shifting business landscape. There’s much work and research to be conducted, but eventually, the best of both worlds can be achieved.

According to Statista.com, the number of work-related fatal injuries in the United Kingdom stood at 123 between 2021 and 2022, which could be lower if more employees worked from home. Experiencing accidents at work can bring many difficulties for both the employee and employer, resulting in financial costs for both sides, as well as reputational damage for the company and long-term complications for the employee. As legal experts from www.accidentclaims.co.uk/accident-at-work-claim point out, trips, slips, and falls are among the most common causes of work-related injuries and are likely everywhere. Needless to say, such mishaps and the related difficulties stemming from possible lawsuits against the company and the hardship of overcoming the accident for employees are excluded when employees are allowed to work remotely.

Another way that employees and employers can take advantage of remote models is job accessibility. Recruiters are no longer restricted to the state or local area, having to spend money on relocating employees or being present in their offices to conduct interviews. On the other hand, employees have more access to existing jobs, removing location and language barriers.

The hybrid setup is a deal-breaker for remote employees

If 2020 saw work-from-home as a pure necessity for every party implied and the better part of employees would return to the office to escape the burden of the lockdown, the following two years were all about a different perspective. How employees could get back into their offices and adapt to a hybrid model became the talk of the town in business discussions.

Regardless, in 2023, remote work will be more well-implemented than ever, and teleworkers will not only resent the thought of returning to the office, but they’ll also be unwilling to adopt a hybrid setup. For many, a flexible work model is interfering with their personal lives to the point where they cannot accept such a working model. The combination of office and remote blurs the lines between private life and job.

Hybrid work can also be more taxing than office work. Research shows that over 80% of HR executives claim that this working model can be draining and exhausting, possibly leading to lowered productivity and increased employee dissatisfaction.

Plus, the certainty of knowing where the employee is going to work one day or one month from now is non-negotiable. Just like people seek the assurance of a job and source of income in the long term, they’re also put off by needing more precise information about how and where their tasks will be done and how the changing work setting will interfere with their personal lives.

Despite the advantages, remote work isn’t encouraged by many employees  

While the fact that employees want to work remotely doesn’t surprise employers, this attitude is also facing opposition. Work-from-home has gained its fair share of judgmentalism, with most criticism coming from the employee side. The motives cited are linked mainly to the following:

  • Office-related expenses that must be paid regardless of the working
  • Difficulties in informal learning that include sharing knowledge
  • Lost control due to lack of supervision
  • Different team collaboration barriers
  • Challenges in tracking employee results.

In-office work isn’t entirely abandoned  

1% of employees are indifferent about work location and are comfortable in any required setting. They are more resilient because they have no obligations to their families, value their jobs above all else, or don’t have a preference. However, only one out of every hundred workers wants to return to work. Their motivations vary, ranging from a desire to enhance their social lives to the fact that their home environment doesn’t support their work.

Remote work is more widespread than ever, and businesses must adapt to shifting preferences to accomplish their workforce retention goals and maintain engagement levels as high as possible. 

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