Throughout the past 12 months working environments have changed dramatically for many professionals. Desks no longer have a city view with bustling crowds rushing from one meeting to another or clusters of colleagues grabbing that much needed coffee before the next meeting. Instead, views now on the horizon are those of the garden or street we live on out of the study window.
Working from home is now no longer a luxury perk offered by companies becoming progressive but an enforced necessity, driven by a global pandemic, embraced to enable the continuation of industry. Working from home has had positive impacts. It has removed the daily commute, giving back more productive time and has paved the way for a better work/life balance - allowing more time for leisure activities. Well, this is the theory!
Data collected by Cognito learning however suggests that almost half of the people they spoke with still do not have sufficient time to do the leisure activities they enjoy! With only 16% admitting to the increased leisure time. This is an incredible figure considering the hours per week that must be saved through lack of commuting. So, what are we doing with the extra time?
Many of the professionals I have spoken with have discussed that this time has just been reinvested into their role, giving them extra time to finish off tasks and complete what is needed for their role. For others the extra time has given them the flexibility to balance home schooling and their job or to support others in the community rather than an increase in leisure!
Whilst it appears that big business is benefitting from the lack of commuting through increased productivity, I believe it would be fair to say that it isn’t all “bad” for the worker. Less that 5% of the study felt that they were negatively impacted by working from home and 94% said that their employer had a support system in place for them regarding their wellbeing. There were also significant benefits highlighted to me during my daily discussions- Saving money on travel/lunches/after work leisure, working in casual clothing and minimal time between bed-desk, being available for home deliveries, being at home to do odd jobs during the day, more time with loved ones, working hours more productive with less interruptions.
Whilst it seems we have not reinvested our commuting time into increased leisure activities it appears that the changing in working environment has had a positive impact for many. I would love to hear your experiences of the past 12 months along with your views on whether this is a working environment you would like to see beyond he pandemic !