The result of the Guernsey community standing together in solidarity from their homes has led to a pleasantly swift return to normality. Though we may feel like the Bailiwick has seen the back of the pandemic, as so very importantly stated by the SoG, now is not the time to become complacent. In our work life especially, we now face a very prevalent question of if working from home could be the future of office life.
Speaking to several of our clients, the work from home situation has been a little like marmite. Some have loved being home, having the freedom to sit outside, walk the dog during breaks and make an excessive amount of tea and coffee without fear of judgement from fellow fitness fanatics in the office. Contrarily to this is those who can’t wait to catch a minute of peace; with raging toddlers and minimal social contact with anyone over the age of 5, being stuck at your office desk in 23℃ heat has never looked so good.
Love WFH or not, it can be agreed that the dynamic of work has dramatically changed amidst the guidelines to stay at home in order to save lives. Some places of work have never seen such high levels of productivity, whereas others have fallen short of basic goals due to social limitations. Clearly there is a divide; so, could permanently working from home really be an option?
For those sceptical about the reality of working from home, you have every right to be. Healthline conducted a survey in 2018 and discovered there is a large link between those who remotely work having increased chance of depression, and the sacrifice of a work-related social life could take its toll. However, several other studies suggest that those who WFH have increased productivity, as well as leading a healthier lifestyle due to decreased work-related stress, not to mention the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint.
It is safe to say that the results of working remotely is entirely personal and circumstantial. With Guernsey offices planning a phased return with new safety and hygiene measures in place; some feedback from employees has been so positive that speculation amidst permanently working from home could be an option that some seek.
Could remotely working really be the new normal? Or are we too intrinsically drawn towards social interaction that we crave that work-related stress we once moaned about? Only the next months will tell if these new working conditions are achievable as well as parallelly productive to an office environment.