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The future of working from home: how to plan ahead

Work from home trends have changed dramatically since lockdown. In fact, remote working statistics from 2020 show that the role of the open plan office may have shifted for good – becoming more of an optional hub than a compulsory place of work as it typically has been. The question is, are you ready for the change?

The future is hybrid working

A year of lockdown homeworking has taught many organisations that staff don't have to work in a centralised office all the time to be productive. So, while there is still a place for the office – as a location to have face-to-face meetings, collaborate and see co-workers – are staff more likely to carry out the bulk of their work from their homes, even after restrictions ease?

The data shows that, but how long will we be working from home in 2021 – and beyond? Our recent future of homeworking survey suggests the shift towards home working might be permanent.

Our survey gathered remote working statistics from UK businesses, and found that most intend to operate a hybrid working situation in future, with staff splitting their work between home and the office throughout the week. The most popular ratio is three days at home, to two in the office.When managed well, offering an option to work from home can improve company culture significantly, along with a variety of other benefits such as:

  • Creating a dynamic workforce
  • Reducing emissions
  • Reducing running costs
  • Improving work-life balance
  • Increasing staff retention

However, there are risks to consider. Without the right equipment, training and support, there's room for staff to become disengaged, unproductive and even prone to injury and ill-health.

The future of working from home is exciting – as long as we prepare for it properly. Here are our tips for making sure staff who are working from home, either full-time or part-time, are as well-supported as they can be:

  1. Make sure homeworkers have access to health and wellbeing information

Employers can't control employees' home environments like they can their corporate offices. They can't just turn up at staff members' houses and start making changes. However, what they can do is give staff the knowledge and tools to do this themselves.

E-learning is a great solution for remote workers. We offer an e-learning course that takes users on a personalised, interactive journey following a variety of health, safety and wellbeing challenges in different environments. Users learn how to set up their chairs and workstations correctly, and pick up lots of other useful healthy working habits along the way, such as:

  • Taking regular breaks
  • Staying hydrated
  • Keeping connected
  • Getting outside
  • Stretching and moving
  1. Help staff set up an ergonomic home office

Musculoskeletal issues sometimes take time to develop. That's why it's vital to ensure your staff have an ergonomic home office, with products that really work for their situation. It's advisable to book a DSE assessment to establish the needs of each employee and avoid wasting money on equipment that isn't right for them.

With a few observations and questions, our trained assessors can offer posture and positioning adjustments and give product recommendations that are tailor-made for the individual.

  1. Choose the right products for homeworking

Not everyone will have the luxury of a dedicated home office. In cases where space is limited, a full workstation may not be feasible. Products for hybrid workers who regularly switch between homeworking and the office should ideally be:

  • Portable - lightweight, compact and easy to slip into a laptop bag.
  • Easy to set up - no complicated wire configurations, or software to install.
  • Wireless - this way you don't have to carry cables and it reduces desk clutter.

Here are some of our most popular products, perfect for creating an ergonomic working space:

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With the right preparations in place and emphasis on supporting staff to find a pattern that works well for them, the future of working from home and the office looks positive. Check out our infographic, if you'd like to know more about how to make hybrid working work for you.