What If: We Worked Alone?
A recent trend in remote working has resulted in divided opinion and not a little back-pedalling on previous strongly-held views.
On the one hand, increased flexibility is just what some workers have been waiting for to juggle their hectic lives.
But those who have been granted absence from the office are seeking each other out again in an effort to increase productivity and combat loneliness.
Separating the Workforce
According to a recent survey from Regus, flexible working is getting seriously popular with UK businesses. And not just businesses ΓÇô employees themselves are espousing the benefits as well. As a result of flexible working:
ΓÇó 68% of businesses report better productivity;
ΓÇó 63% of businesses have seen increased revenue;
ΓÇó 46% of flexible workers are reported to feel healthier;
ΓÇó 51% of flexible workers are more energised and motivated.
But by its very definition, flexibility means the choice to work away from the office when necessary. It doesnΓÇÖt mean that thereΓÇÖs no office at all and nowhere for colleagues to group together and work…
What would that world be like?
For a start, coffee shops and caf├⌐s would be much more crowded places for staff who just canΓÇÖt bear the sight of their own four walls anymore and Wi-Fi would be almost mandatory in public places that have yet to catch up.
Instead of kitting out offices with desktops and landline phones, business owners would be handing out laptops and mobiles indiscriminately to staff at all levels. IT workers would have to have cars to get out and fix tech hiccups and HR personnel might find their homes open to confidential discussion.
Creative workers might flock to art galleries, parks or libraries for inspiration while the sale of desks and filing cabinets could skyrocket for all the spare bedrooms being transformed into offices.
The upside? Current technology means that meetings could still be held, work shared between colleagues and workers could find their own way to meet a deadline, unmonitored. Parents would be free to do the school run and workers would be able to create their own working environment complete with choice of music, views and inspiration.
The downside? While working alone from the comforts of home may be what youΓÇÖre hankering for, some might find that in reality, the lack of structure or group motivation seriously damages their productivity. Work life and real life may begin to blur and the chance to network or see friends would diminish. Yes, you can listen to your radio station, but does that make up for the busy buzz?
Would you choose to work completely alone or do you enjoy the office lifestyle, warts and all?