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Are you winning at home working?

By Sarah Wixon

I'm genuinely tired. We're pretty much all having a rough time of it right now and I raise my glass to all of you who are battling it out on a dozen hostile fronts simultaneously. Suddenly many of us who were, let's face it, probably already stretched quite thinly between our working and family lives, are now firmly entrenched in a battle to see which will give first. My money's on the homeschooling.

We're 50 odd days in (or something) and even the most organised of us must be feeling the strain. With the exception of answering urgent emails or occasionally joining the morning Teams meeting, I'm not even starting my 'normal' job until 2pm or later as the kids need my input with their school work. And whilst I firmly believe that an episode of Horrible Histories (god bless those guys) counts as a history lesson, there are only so many times you can leave them alone to watch it before the inevitable happens and the Xbox is sneakily switched on.

I'm a pretty organised person, I manage my life with a series of lists (mostly written on the backs of my hands) but this is a Herculean feat of planning and I'm not sure I'm able for it for too much longer.

But there are some definite advantages to working from home as well and I can't deny it. I suddenly have time to walk the dog in the morning without having to be up at 5am to fit it in. There's nothing quite like that time for a bit of space from the family/work/chores. I'm not spending time commuting or arranging dog care and child care to cover me. If I want to put some washing out out on the line I can do it whilst my youngest wrestles with fronted adverbials (wtf?). If I don't start work until 2pm, it doesn't matter that I'm still working at 8pm, I can pop downstairs to eat and then get back to it. Frankly it's not like I've got anywhere better to go!

Will the pandemic mean a substantive change in the way we live and work? Now we've 'discovered' remote working, will we want to go back to a 9-5ish office existence? I'm thinking not, or certainly not every day. Hitachi Capital's research, in the referenced article below, seems to indicate that I'm not alone in that thinking and that up to 70% of those surveyed also want to remain working remotely. Convenience aside, many workplaces are going to have immense difficulty with reopening safely, there may well need to be permanent changes in working hours/days to accommodate reorganised desking, staggered breaks and less people in the office at any one time. Not everyone will be able to work from home with ease, there's definitely no 'one size fits all' solution, but for some people a more permanent move to remote working could potentially prove very beneficial for both employer and employee.

To begin with, many employees struggled to get to grips with remote working, particularly if they didn’t have the correct desk set-up or equipment to facilitate comfortable homeworking.   Yet, it seems that employees have adapted to this new way of working and want it to stick around in future. Almost seven in ten (69%) HR and recruitment workers want to continue working from home once lockdown restrictions have been lifted, new research has found.

Read the original article here
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