The lasting legacy of lockdown could see more people continuing to work from home and more home buyers and tenants are expected to prioritise high speed internet and space for a home office.
Before the Global Pandemic of Covid 19, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that less than 30% of the UK workforce had worked from home, but in April 2020 they discovered that 49.2% of people were working from home.
With many companies providing employees with the means to ‘work from home’, people are now wondering if this will be the new way of living and working, post lockdown?
So, what are the positives and negatives of this new way of working?
The work-life balance is a hard one to get right. Struggling to find an equilibrium between the two can be detrimental to mental health, as it’s often the ‘life’ part of the deal that gets less attention. By introducing remote working, it’s become easier than ever to find that compromise, with more time available for doing what you enjoy. With the new ‘work from home’ ethic, workers could save hours of commuting time, and not to mention catching a few more Z’s before the alarm goes off!
With the lack of morning rush, more families are able to eat breakfast together. School closures have meant that children are studying at home, the flexibility allowed by remote working means parents have more time to spend time with their kids. Lunch breaks also could be spent doing those jobs you’d usually have to do after work, potentially giving more time to do the things you enjoy, more quality time with family or simply relaxing after your “commute” from your home office to the sofa!
A healthier planet
In 2020, perhaps the greatest concern is the climate. A recent poll found that 77% of office workers believe that being able to work from home is an effective way to help the environment – most likely due to the fact that it reduces the need to commute and there is effectively less traffic on the roads especially during the dreaded rush hours. Also, the power usage of utilities in offices is often outside of the employee’s control but working from home workers would be more inclined to monitor their energy consumption and reduce unnecessary power usage in their own homes, because ultimately they are paying the ones paying the bills.
This reduction in air pollution can only be seen as a benefit for the environment and 13 of the UK’s largest cities have already seen a significant drop in air pollution as more people work from home, London seeing a drop of 34.29%. This is good news for the planet, our health and our wellbeing, and must be considered when thinking of long-term remote working.
Some of the Downsides
Working from home does not automatically lead to happier employees.
One downside to working from home is missing out on office ‘banter’ and less socialising with others. It can be tough not having the human interaction that arguably keeps us sane. Some people have struggled with loneliness when working from home, also a lot of workers don’t have the luxury of a home office and trying to find a suitable workspace has led to anxiety for many. Having a more relaxed schedule and being at home, may lead to more rendezvous with the fridge than you’d like.
To try and combat this try to keep to a work schedule as close as normal to your office based one. Stay active whether that is in the form of a run outside or climbing stairs indoors as this boosts mood and reduces fatigue. Moving desks closer to the window increases production of serotonin.
Lockdown has undoubtedly had a huge effect on many of our priorities when it comes to where we live and many people are now, or have already decided, to look for a new home with these new priorities in mind. Where previously features such as the kitchen often figured highly in terms of what buyers looked for first, but in the light of these changing times it has become more important to have things like, outside space to enjoy, whether that be a garden at home or near nature walks. The option of creating an office space where possible, for example a rarely used spare room, on a galleried landing or in an outbuilding that’s often overlooked but are easily converted to usable spaces. High speed internet, and even space for a home gym are now higher on the priority list.
If you are experiencing lockdown fatigue and thinking that the ‘work from home’ ethos is here to last and you are thinking of selling your property, buying a new one or just renting for the short term to wait and see what happens, the give the Pymm & Co Sales and Lettings team a call or email to discuss what we can do for you and help make both your home and work life as enjoyable as possible.