Page 8 - inPRINT Issue 63
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                   In April 2020 nearly half (46.6%) of people in
                   employment did some of their work from home                                         *

    human resources  THE NEW NORMAL?

              lexible working, working                                              others may have fretted over
           Ffrom home and working                                                   elderly family members
           remotely are nothing                                                     or balancing childcare
           new. The overwhelming                                                    commitments.
           majority previously viewed                                                When reviewing how your
           out-of-office working as                                                 business and workforce will
           less productive, with lower                                              operate going forward, it is
           output and useful only in                                                important to communicate
           exceptional circumstances                                                with employees and
           for senior employees who                                                 gather different views and
           could be trusted to actually                                             opinions. While some will
           do some work. Flexible                                                   be delighted to continue
           working requests would be                                                with remote working,
           declined, often with little                                              there may be others who
           consideration of the merits                                              are desperate to return
           or reasons behind them.                                                  to the office and regain
             Perhaps it was perceived                                               some routine and social
           as too much effort to                                                    structure. Consideration
           consider preparing an                                                    should be given to reviewing
           infrastructure to enable   2020 nearly half (46.6%) of   work around personal lives   management styles and
           home-working, or maybe   people in employment did   and caring responsibilities   maintaining the positive
           it was genuinely not    some of their work from   has led to an improvement   changes that have come
           viable for the business. Of   home, with the vast majority   in work-life balance, job   from COVID-19, for example
           course, some companies   (86.0%) stating that this   satisfaction and overall   updating company policies,
           cannot operate with home-  was because of COVID-19.   physical and mental   placing greater trust in
           workers or remote workers,   There are many articles   wellbeing. The long-term   employees and embracing
           particularly in the printing   citing the cost and time   sustainability and success   a variety of communication
           industry. But COVID-19 has   savings that employees   of business is the ultimate   channels.
           pushed this debate to the   have benefitted from as a   goal. The CIPD suggests that   With involvement from
           forefront.              result. It is expected that   there is a strong evidence   your workforce and clear,
             As companies have     many employees may wish   base for how workplace   honest communication,
           been forced to adapt and   to continue some degree of   flexibility can ‘support   most companies will realise
           accommodate home-       home or flexible working   inclusion, help to reduce   the benefits to the working
           working to ensure business   permanently. More than 44%   the gender pay gap, support   culture as a result of the
           continuity during the   of people who answered a   sustainability initiatives,   lockdown.
           shutdown, it may be     Direct Line questionnaire   attract and retain talented
           increasingly difficult for   said working from home at   individuals, increase   For further information,
           employers to turn down   least part of the time should   productivity and support   please contact Olivia Martin
           requests for flexible working   be a permanent option. One   wellbeing’.   at [email protected]
           in the future, particularly   in 12 said they would ask   But the benefits for some   or contact your Regional
           where the physical set-up   their employer to let them   have been drawbacks for   HR Adviser here.
           has been implemented    work remotely full-time,   others. Those living alone
           during lockdown and     though two days per week at   may have found it lonely,   References:
           employee motivations and   home was the most popular   those furloughed may have   * Office for National
           productivity have been   choice (The Independent,   been worrying about job   Statistics 2020, https://
           evidenced.              2020).                   security, those with health
              According to the Office for   For a lot of people, the   conditions may have had
           National Statistics, in April   increased flexibility to fit   concerns about safety, and

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