Making flexible working work in the long term
The Covid-19 pandemic has been, and continues to be, a trying time for everyone. For businesses, the imposed lockdown has been a crash course in remote working, setting up suitable arrangements for people to carry on being productive from home, adopting new technologies to connect and adapting to new ways of interacting, almost overnight. If there ever was a silver lining for office-based workers, however, at this most distressing of times, it was the relief from the daily commute and the ability to be flexible through their working day.
But it would be wrong to assume that the transition was smooth and seamless. The sudden start of the crisis was far from the ideal scenario to accelerate flexible working in the workplace. In the circumstances, this felt more like an experiment in working remotely than a demonstration of the merits of flexible and agile working. Many of those fortunate enough to be able to operate from home were subject to spending longer hours in front of their laptop to absorb the workloads of colleagues who had found themselves on furlough, or worse, who were struck by the illness. For some, the rapid change meant that they barely had time to set up suitable space in their homes to work comfortably. And that’s without mentioning the anxiety of learning to live with a new threat and witnessing the daily progress of the virus and its devastating effects on the population.