London has been hit harder by coronavirus than any other region in the UK. Even for those who commute into the capital, the changes are monumental. Yet, despite what the media tells us, it’s not all doom and gloom, as we’ve discovered at our London recruitment agency. We’ve taken a look at some of the positive realities of lockdown for London’s office workers.
Our four-part Lockdown Lowdown series will look at the positives that have arisen from London being in lockdown. Whether you’re homeworking or on furlough, even if you’ve been made redundant, we look at what’s really going on, and how Londoners can find a silver lining in their employment, regardless of what lockdown brings.
In this first part, we look at homeworking.
Homeworking in London during coronavirus lockdown
Even before coronavirus lockdown, homeworking was growing. Around one-third of the workforce has worked from home, and 1.7 million people in the UK already work from home regularly.
The figures for how many are homeworking during the coronavirus lockdown have yet to be properly collated. What we do know is that, nationally, around half or more workers are working from home, and London is adjusting better than most regions to homeworking.
This fits with our normal understanding of homeworking, which ONS data shows us favours sectors such as “information and communication, professional, scientific and technical activities, financial and insurance activities, and real estate activities”, and specifically non-manual roles requiring higher qualifications.
London’s office workers are in some of the best positions at the moment.
How Londoners are making homeworking viable
Different employers are embracing homeworking in different ways. However, as our candidates are reporting, those who’ve made sure their employees have the technology they need and have excellent communications systems in place are managing homeworking most successfully.
While some employees are reporting struggling with their work-life balance whilst working from home, for some it has had the opposite effect. Some are realising how much time they save by not commuting, others find they’re able to plough through work more efficiently with fewer distractions.
Alistair, a credit controller who normally works in the city, told us “my usual working day used to see me out of the house between 7am and 7pm. Now, I’m getting all of my work done in around 5-6 hours per day, and my employer is happy for me to ‘clock off’. I know some of this is my commute, but I’ve also realised how much of my day was wasted. I like being productive and efficient, yet also having more time away from work. I’ll carry these lessons back into post-lockdown life!”
We also wonder if those struggling with their work-life balance during lockdown are experiencing this because of factors beyond their employer’s control. For example, employees having to manage children being home from school whilst also doing their job are facing significant challenges that will impact their sense of balance.
Homeworking: the first and best option
Homeworking is by far the best option for employees and employers where possible. It keeps the business going and employees committed to organisational objectives. It’s great to see that so many London businesses and workers have embraced it.
Want to work virtually but your employer isn’t offering it? Submit your CV to us. We’re a London recruitment agency that’s open as usual.
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