As we all know, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has meant huge changes to office working environments.
You may have seen some recent press coverage about large firms making working from home a permanent option. Some businesses are doing away with office space altogether, but so called ‘hybrid’ working seems a more common approach; whereby office workers can split their time between the office and home. PriceWaterHouseCooper (PwC) recently made headlines by announcing their staff can work from home a couple of days each week and can even set their own working hours (read article here). Nationwide and BP are amongst other companies to also offer a hybrid approach long term.
The pandemic has been devastating in many ways. However, it does seem to have moved flexible working forward at an unprecedented rate. The last year has shown how many office workers are able to work from home effectively, and perhaps this has convinced firms that this approach can be successful long term.
What does this mean for the office worker? Many will be very glad to do away with long commutes and may find the increased flexibility offers them a better work life balance (think: lunch time run, coffee break with your spouse, perhaps meeting a pal for lunch). However, others have found the blurring (or non-existent!) boundaries between work and home life created by home working has caused wellbeing issues. With these contrasting viewpoints in mind, it does seem that the hybrid model is the perfect solution.
A recent survey from the World Economic Forum reported that only a fifth of workers want to work from home entirely, but interestingly, the same number want to work from the office every day. This indicates that workers want the best of both worlds, and a blended approach is key.
Here at PEMCO, we are on board! We have all worked from home for almost a year now (with a brief return to the office when restrictions allowed last summer). This time has given us a chance to reflect on how we work and made us realise that (as in many places in life) balance is key. We are fortunate to have a lovely, welcoming, and creative studio space. Being together in the studio does help with flow of ideas and improve communication and teamwork. However, we are also all busy parents and find a day or two at home can give us more opportunity to balance our home and work commitments. So, moving forwards, we are offering all the team the opportunity to choose whether they work from the studio or from home, but we do encourage everyone to come in at least a couple of days a week, just to enjoy the face-to-face connections that are hard to replicate on a Teams call!
Rest assured, we have all the tech in place, so we will be offering the same excellent customer service and commitment to our clients that we have always prided ourselves on.
And what about your team? Can we help support you with any workplace wellbeing needs? We are now offering Wellbeing eLearning courses, as well as Mental Health First Aid training. Please do get in touch to chat about your needs!