As we are all aware the recent 2020/2021 lockdowns have had a tremendous effect on aspects of our everyday lives. In particular, the way in which we work.
How things have changed
Working environments, systems and cultures have changed significantly since the introduction of national lockdown procedures. Despite the farewell to lockdowns in the UK, the working cultures and systems introduced through lockdown still remain. When I refer to ‘working cultures and systems’ I am referencing the ability to ‘work from home’. Whilst the introduction of ‘working from home’ was undoubtedly necessary during its implementation, the question raised is whether this system is necessary now that the world has (in some ways) returned back to ‘normal’.
Prior to the global pandemic the universal way of working was typically ‘working outside of home’, for example in an office or workforce building. That then was our ‘working reality’. Through online debate and general news, the want for the permanent implementation of working from home can be largely observed. It seems as though the escape from reality during lockdown and furlough, has altered the conceptions of what a working environment should be. Many of us continue to want to work from home, with some wanting a ‘hybrid’ working schedule and others happy to return to a pre-pandemic working reality. Lockdown was far from a reality, something a lot of us would never wish to go through again. The systems and coping mechanisms put in place during lockdown were only ever temporary measures. So, is it acceptable for individuals to want these systems to continue during our return back to reality?
Is it the taste of an easier life that people enjoy? Or is it the ability to dictate your own time (even during working hours)? Are people now being lazy or have they simply adjusted to our temporary reality?
Are people asking for too much?
There are and will be many opinions and beliefs in regards to this topic of conversation. It is important to understand that there will never be a ‘right answer’. Through working in recruitment, our consultants have experienced an increase in candidates asking for the same thing. Less hours but more or the same amount of money as they would have received on a higher amount of hours’ work. It is in these situations that the question ‘has lockdown reshaped reality?’ seems feasible to question. Through these observations, a sense of entitlement (from received benefits like furlough), seems to have emerged within some workers.
Conversely, a large majority of workers believe that working from home helps/has helped to improve their mental health. In the majority of cases this reasoning for working at home is justified. However there is the argument that not all people can work from home regardless of the state of their mental health. So, is it fair for some people to work from home when certain industries are unable to due to the nature of their job?
What do you think?
As I previously stated, this topic of discussion will bring a multitude of opinions. Which is why I would like you to leave your opinions below, what are your opinions on working from home? And why is this your opinion?