Guest Blog by Portia Vincent-Kirby from Hudson McKenzie
Approximately over 4.2 Million people are now working from home in the U.K.; but how exactly ‘human’ is this working practice?
With the rise of technology comes also the rise of the ability to work completely virtual and thus remotely. Therefore, with the costs of office space skyrocketing, influencing many companies to downsize without resulting in a redundancy of staff, many employees are given the option to work from the comfort of their own home instead of coming to the office.
Several benefits are said to come from employees being give the right to work from home. For instance, a lot of employees have stated in recent reports that one of the key reasons why working from home is preferred is due to not having to commute to work and having essentially one hour more sleep in bed instead.
However, although employees may be more comfortable working from home in their own environment, will this alternatively impact socializing skills which are fundamental to the human personality, given the rise of technology allowing employees to work from home?
For instance, once or twice a week may seem a reasonable amount of time to be given the option to work from home. However with the increase of virtual assistants and most of a person’s employment role being online, companies are increasingly looking to making their company ‘office-less’, so that they save money on rent and so forth, meaning that employees could essentially be working from home full time.
However, from a HR perspective, is it healthy for a person to work from home say 9am – 6pm every day aside from weekends?
For example, by only communicating via a machine at home to your work colleagues, employees may loose out on the fundamental social skills that are required for a functioning office. Furthermore, there are also several health and mental health concerns that could arise with no leaving the house for several days on end, which could also impact the work produced overall. Therefore, is it plausible to suggest that the office environment is still a highly valued commodity to any business and its employees?
Alternatively, if businesses are still looking to becoming completely ‘office-less’ with employees working from home and virtual offices set up, then it must be urged that businesses have strong work-from-home policies in place, so to ensure that the health and functioning of their employees is kept up to scratch, so as to promote a positive working environment, even beyond the office setting.
If you would like to discuss this article further or have any general legal enquiries, please contact one of our highly qualified solicitors on 020 3318 5794 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org