Businesses have had a rough ride these past few months. As the Coronavirus pandemic began to sweep across Britain, causing the Government to close premises temporarily, it left professionals wondering how we would survive, not just from a health perspective, but also from an economical point too.
Business owners have been faced with many difficult decisions. Who to furlough, how to continue operating with a skeleton workforce, and how to keep those workers online and connected, not to mention secure. Online scammers have been rife during the pandemic, keen to exploit areas of weakness for their gain. Another worry for businesses, on top of everything else.
It’s been a hugely stressful time and we have seen some casualties along the way, but on the whole we, I think it’s fair to say we have come back fighting. We have survived. Whatever we think of our Government, help was put in place quickly for businesses and staff, leaving companies free focus on the task in hand. To continue operating, in a new way – virtually.
The Rise of Home Working
Staff who are working remotely have had the exceptionally challenging task of balancing remote working with home schooling. They also need to juggle the management of their own financial worries and mental health. But there’s no denying that they have adapted brilliantly. ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’ never felt more relevant. Many workers have been keen to demonstrate the advantages of conducting their work at home, to their employers.
Granted, remote working isn’t for everyone. Many workers find themselves keen to return to work for the ambience and physical presence of team members. But it’s going to be a little strange for a long time to come, with an acute focus on safety measures and staff protection. This may mean more home working to limit the number of staff in the office at any one time or to reduce commuters during peak times. It’s about striking the right balance in the interests of safety and productivity; achieving a level of efficiency without compromising safety.
There are those who are naturally more productive when working from home. With kids off school currently, it’s hard to use this climate as a demonstrative case. But, as a business owner who has always worked from home, I can honestly say that during pre-COVID times, I got more work done than compared to being office-based. No tiresome commuting, no disruptive chit-chat or interruptions from impromptu (and sometimes unnecessary) meetings. Instead, I have rather a comfortable space where I can concentrate, feel at ease and make or take private and confidential calls.
As a virtual business, my employees all work from home. Their circumstances all vary and so do their hours. They work around their commitments for a harmonious work/home life balance. As a result productivity is good. I am not saying working from home is always the answer. I understand that there are some individuals who may exploit this opportunity. However, on the whole, I have found that if you give staff the flexibility and the support they require to work remotely, they will give back again and again.