• Friday, Aug 14, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:32 pm

Why do people want to continue working from home?

  • Published at 10:03 am August 2nd, 2020
work from home
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The Covid-19 lockdown has made a way for them to save money and spend time with family

After the Covid-19 lockdown began in March, workers across the UK packed up their office equipment and set up work stations in their own homes.

Covid-19 made bedrooms, kitchen counter-tops and dining tables the new way of working for millions of people.

According to the ONS, 30% of adults in the UK were exclusively working from home at the start of July, reports BBC News.

From August 1, employers in England can allow staff members back into offices at their own discretion when they feel it is safe to do so.

As it is time to return to communal workplaces, research from Eskenzi have suggested that 91% of the UK's office workers would like to work from home at least part of the time, the report said.

So what is the reason, so many office staff want to continue to work from home?

'It's like getting a pay rise'

Jon Williams, 43, is a software developer from Lyme Regis and working from home has helped him save both time and money.

"I was spending £65 on petrol every two weeks before lockdown," he said. Because he no longer has an hour-long daily commute, he has not had to fill his car up since March.

Jon also noticed that he is saving money on his food because he is not stopping at the supermarket on the way home from work. "It is like getting a pay rise without receiving any more money", he said.

"I have saved about £1,600 overall, and I am putting extra money into my ISA every month and plan to spend it on taking a holiday when it seems safer to do so."

As restrictions are easing, Jon's employers are open to the idea of remote working in the future too, the report continued.

Currently there are no plans to bring staff back into his office. "The tech has been working so well, this is likely to be more of a permanent move," he said.

'We're spending more time together as a family'

Nirali Amin, a qualified bookkeeper from Watford, discovered that working from home gave her more quality time with her sons.

"It is so nice to be working from home and looking after the kids," the 39-year-old said. As both parents work full-time, Nirali felt they were missing out on their children growing up.

It was not smooth at the beginning. "The first two weeks at home together were a little awkward," she admitted. It took a while to work out who was going to use which space in the house. With both children using the dining table for school work, their parents were left to sort their working routines around them, the report also said.

But now after the lockdown, Nirali believes the bond she has with her children is stronger than ever before. 

Prior to lockdown, she felt they had less time to discuss family matters in depth together. "We were either stressed or extra tired all the time - now we understand their needs better."

Nirali's husband, Tushar Patel, 43, agreed on the matter as well. "We have never had so much time off together as a family. We both really feel that we lost some time together when the kids were younger."

They are now making up for the time lost with family board game nights and helping the children with their studies during the day.

The couple thinks working from home should be an option for all parents where possible - although Nirali will be returning to her office on August 3. Tushar, who works for Harrow Council in Greater London, does not yet know when he will have to  go back to his workplace.

'I've seen an improvement in my mental health'

Sarah Caisley, who lives in Harlow, said she noticed her mental health has "improved substantially" since she's been working from home, after the Covid-19 lockdown began.

An animator by profession, Sarah, 30, usually works in London. She is finding it easier to "focus on work" from home than being at office with so many people.

It is a combination of factors making her feel "much less stressed and anxious than I did when we were full-time in the office". One major difference is being able to take more time to herself, she added.

"If I was having difficulty concentrating or finding inspiration in the office, I just had to push through that feeling. Now I can go and have a chat with my husband, or play with the cat or sit in the garden for 10 minutes and come back fresh."

"I think I did not realize how much of a difference to my mental wellbeing things like that could make."

Apart from this, Sarah is saving £450 a month on train fares, which has relieved her financial stress.

Her employer is "pretty open" to the idea of staff working from home in the future and has no plans to bring people back into work next week, she said.

She and her husband, Iain, also hope to move further away from London in future and remote working would offer them a "bigger choice of places" to live.

'I've realized how valuable I am to my clients'

Laura (not her real name) is an aerobics instructor who has been working for the same health club for more than two decades and "really does not want to" go back.

Since the gyms were closed Laura has been running online classes for her regular customers from her living room, and she said it really helped her realize how valuable she is. "I have earned more for doing less," she observed.

"I have just plodded on without a pay rise for 20 years. Now I realize people do not care about the gym facilities, they just want me as their instructor."

"It has made me realize I work for peanuts for someone else when they take all the profit."

Laura is going back to work on site for the next couple of weeks, but is making plans to expand her online classes in the future, the report concluded.

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