The British Council for Offices (BCO) performed a survey of 2,000 office workers in September 2020, and discovered that more than half of the respondents would like to adopt a hybrid working pattern, with some remote work and some office work in a week.
This is most likely to be due to the effects of the COVID19 lockdown forcing businesses to abruptly begin remote working. Once employers and employees had experienced, both sides were able to gain a new understanding of the pros and cons of remote working.
Advantages of remote work for employers include:
- A wider recruitment pool (since businesses can easily include people who live far away and people with disabilities or other difficulties with traditional office premises),
- Fewer employee problems with commuting (leading often to lower absenteeism),
- Less money spent on heating and electricity costs when offices are empty.
Advantages of office work include:
- Guaranteed equipment and workspace. This is a problem many employees encountered when working from home was not a voluntary decision; cramped accommodation without a spare room, and old, unreliable personal equipment. Employers must pay for these things, but in return they get secure environments and equipment that they can trust, and fewer employees suffering from posture problems.
- Easier and more natural face-to-face contact. This can be useful for meetings, as well as normal conversation throughout the working day. Humans are sociable animals, and in many workplaces it is far easier to have a quick, casual exchange than it would be from home. Some employers might frown at non-work related chat, but having a reasonable amount is good for employees’ mental health, their awareness of workplace culture, and their chances of progression.
70% of the employees BCO surveyed said the office was important for learning and developing networks. Two-thirds said their career had been helped by relationships made in the office.
However, only 30% said they were considering returning to the office for five days a week, and 15% were intending to work exclusively at home.
“We are never going to go back how things were before,” said the BCO’s chief executive, Richard Kauntze. “The idea that people will return to the five-day week in the office has gone, and I think a much more blended approach is likely, two or three days in the office and two-three at home or wherever is going to be a much more typical pattern. Most people will value being able to work on that basis.”
Giving further emphasis to the continued importance of offices, Roger Barker, the IoD’s director of policy, said,
“Working from home doesn’t work for everyone, and directors must be alive to the downsides. Managing teams remotely can prove far from straightforward, and directors must make sure they are going out of their way to support employees’ mental wellbeing,” he said. “For many companies, bringing teams together in person proves more productive and enjoyable. Shared workspace often provides employees the opportunity for informal development and networking that is so crucial, particularly early on in a career.”
Richard Kauntze added, “The anchor of having an office, a place where they can work comfortably, where they can socialise, safely of course, where they can talk to people not via a screen and can have coffee and lunch, is absolutely crucial for their mental wellbeing and their development.”
There are many ways that employers can utilise technology to make hybrid working easier and more effective. At Tensor, we have worked hard throughout the pandemic to roll out new, useful features and products.
To help manage the attendance of your workers when they are doing remote work, we can offer our Self-Service Module.
This enables employees to clock in and out from their remote workplace, using a browser or the mobile app. They can also clock on and off individual jobs without clocking out and confusing payroll. From the mobile app, employers can even use GPS data to reassure themselves that their employees are behaving responsibly.
Further useful features for absence management with remote work include a “Travelling Abroad” toggle switch on the absence booking page. Users can use this switch to indicate that they intend to leave the country. Authorisers approving such requests can see that the foreign travel setting has been selected.
Tensor has many products and features which can make your workplace as contactless as possible.
Our SSVM system allows visitors to check themselves in and out from an online form, removing any need for physical contact or aerosol spreading with receptionists.
Our contactless access control products allows an easy and well-recorded through-flow of employees:
- Tensor Proximity Card Readers: Slim, sleek and attractive, proximity smart card readers deliver multi-card format compatibility with extensive functionality.
- Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection: The Facial Recognition Terminals are among the world’s most compact face recognition stations, offering very high matching speeds, accuracy, and level of security. The additional Temperature Detection camera adds an extra layer of safety.
- Automatic door drivers are the key elements in a truly contactless door entry access control solution. These systems (also known as automatic door closers) increase the level of safety within a building by allowing touch-free entry through the door itself. Automated doors also help prevent the forming of long queues at the access door – yet another important element in preventing the spread of COVID-19 within the workplace.
- The Tensor S-1-EXITIR Contactless Exit Buttons are the perfect hygienic access control exit solution for all the locations where a no-touch functionality is required.
Please get in touch if you need any further information, or would like a detailed quote provided by our expert salespeople.