Working from home has become the new norm since Covid-19. Previously, only 5% of the workforce worked from their homes compared to the 46.6% during the first Covid-19 lockdown. Despite the cost of living increasing, employers are still expecting their employees to return to the office 5 days a week. Are you struggling with the increase in costs?
68% of the UK workforce travel to work by car. With the recent increase in the cost of petrol/diesel, this has put a lot of pressure on workers. Petrol has seen a 32% increase from a year ago and Diesel has seen a 40% increase. This is now affecting the UK workforce due to the rising costs of travelling to work.
Starting at the beginning of March, the cost of rail travel in England and Wales increased by up to 3.8%. This is the biggest hike in nine years. Due to having to take control of train operators’ financial liabilities during the pandemic, the government now has control of all fares. Public transport fares also increased by an average of 4.8%. Although yesterday the government announced a sale on ticket prices, the discount is not available on all tickets and is only available from April 19th to May 27th.
As well as the price increase, train passengers have also suffered one of the worst periods of cancellations ever due to staff shortages. Therefore, compared to driving, it’s not exactly a reliable alternative.
The benefits of working from home
Improved employee retention
- Working from home can help to retain employees. The flexibility of home working can help them meet childcare needs, reduce their commute, and enable them to fit their work around their personal life. It’s more likely now than ever, that employees will look for a new role if hybrid working/flexibility isn’t offered
- Productivity increases due to fewer disruptions that would normally happen in an office environment. By contrast, working from home allows for a quieter environment that can facilitate more focused work. Sometimes employees wish to increase their paid contractual hours as they save time that was previously spent commuting to and from the workplace.
- By working from home, staff will feel more trusted by their employer as the relationship isn’t as closely monitored and employees are allowed a degree of autonomy to get on with their work. Staff will also be happier developing a home working routine that suits them better and this can contribute to them feeling more motivated to give their best.
Better work/life balance
- Working from home can help employees improve their work/life balance e.g., staff that would have had to commute will now be able to fit in household chores around their working day giving them more free time in the evenings, e.g., loading or unloading the dishwasher or preparing dinner on their lunch break.
Fewer sickness absences
- Staff are more likely to feel happier and more energised working from home and therefore have less chance of their immune system being negatively impacted by burnout.