In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically changed the working lives of millions of employees. As kitchen desks transformed into office desks virtually overnight, many professionals were thrust into new ways of working.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 25.9% of people worked from home in 2020, compared to just 12.4% in 2019.
With a large proportion of the UK now double vaccinated, the government has dropped their previous advice to ‘work from home where you can.’ By dropping this advice, ministers are expecting professionals to gradually return to the office space over the next few months.
The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, claims that Zoom is ‘no substitute’ for face to face interaction within an office environment as you are unable to ‘form solid relationships’ through them.
Sunak even warned professionals, especially those just starting out in their careers, that working from home could even scupper their career in the longer term.
So is working from home bad for your career? In our latest insights piece, we delve into the pros and cons of remote working post pandemic.
Get more work done
If you’re the type of person who thrives from working from home, continuing remote working could actually help to further your career.
If you’re more proactive, get more work done and produce exceptional results in the comfort of your own home, why would you return to the office?
By reducing the number of distractions in a busy office space (such as loud music and interruptions from colleagues), this could help you to over achieve which is fantastic for your career and CV in the long run.
If lockdowns taught us anything, it was how to connect and communicate through the power of technology.
Almost overnight, millions of UK professionals were forced to continue working from the comfort of their dining table; through this isolation, the need to communicate with fellow colleagues was more vital than ever before.
This has resulted in professionals overcompensating and becoming experts in how to communicate.
There’s no doubt that working from home is more convenient, particularly for professionals who have to juggle child care and other commitments.
The average UK professional spends 30 minutes per day and £5.50 in travel fees (petrol/parking/public transport) commuting to and from work.
When working from home, professionals not only save money but they can claw back some valuable time within their day to spend it on something more meaningful to them.
Improved mental and physical health
With less stress and anxiety caused by long commutes and office politics, the working week can seem much more bearable for some professionals.
Studies have found that commuting just 10 miles to work each day could increase your risk of depression, give you higher cholesterol levels and elevate your blood sugar.
By switching a commute to a more significant activity, this can help to improve mental and physical health. Time saved could be used getting extra sleep, working out or spending more time with your children.
With improved mental and physical health, this could have a positive impact on the work you produce and the results you achieve, meaning it enhances your career in the long run.
You’re not building relationships
When you work day in and day out with your colleagues, it’s only natural to build healthy working relationships.
Though you might not know it, these relationships could help you in your career immensely through helpful advice, mentorship or pointing you in the right direction should a better career opportunity become available.
Relationships can be much more difficult to forge or manage through platforms such as Zoom.
If you’re new to a business in particular, it could be a much longer process in getting to know your work colleagues (personally and professionally) by having to do it online.
Missing out on training
Depending on your learning style, you could be missing out on vital training. Some people thrive through online learning whereas some learn better ‘in the classroom.’
Learning opportunities can come in many guises; just by having a presence in the office, you could gain a vast amount of knowledge about the business and how to succeed just by being around more senior members of your team.
Love it or loathe it, training could be the difference between you failing and succeeding in your role.
Work spilling over into your home life
Without a defined end to the working day (i.e. leaving the office and driving home) some professionals struggle to find a healthy work-life balance when working from home.
A poor work-life balance, such as working late into the evenings or having to answer emails at weekends, can eventually lead to employee fatigue.
By burning out, this will have a negative impact on your career - if you can’t find a healthy balance, remote working might not be for you.
Being out of the loop
During periods of lockdown where it was a mandatory requirement to work from home, communications would be held online on platforms such as Zoom or Skype.
With everyone in the same boat, it was fairly easy to keep track of what you needed to know.
For offices which have now adopted a hybrid working model, it could be fairly easy to slip into a situation where you are missing out on vital bits of information if you are working from home and your colleagues are heading into the office each day.
Chats whilst making a coffee, impromptu meetings and lunch breaks are times where you could be missing out on casual collaboration.
Who is Spencer Clarke Group?
Formed in 2017, we're a multi-sector recruitment agency, specialising in a range of key disciplines within both the public and private sectors, offering permanent, temporary, contract and fixed term opportunities.
Recruitment to us isn't just about matching candidates and clients; we are passionate about what we do and love watching our clients and candidates grow from strength to strength.
We currently specialise in 8 sectors:
Accountancy & Finance
Construction & Trades
Education & SEND
Health & Social Care
Interim & Executive
Technical & Engineering