Is Working from Home Here to Stay for Office Workers?

Posted on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 by The Office Zen MasterNo comments

Chats with candidates and employers — and some interesting insights gained from a recent forum discussion thread — have opened our eyes to just how many London-based employers are making home working a permanent arrangement. Office support staff in the capital are amongst those who’ve been most easily able to work from home during the pandemic, but despite calls for city workers to return to prop up struggling coffee shops, some employers appear to have other ideas.

The return to the office

Employers are approaching the return to the office in various ways. All are legally bound to ensure their office space is Covid-secure. For many businesses, the easiest way to do this is to stop workers coming into the office or to reduce the numbers in at any single point. Different employers may be keeping staff working from home until January 2021, until a vaccine is widely available, or for good. Others are employing rotas to bring some employees back into the office on a part-time basis. For some, this involves a week in the office and then a week at home. Others may only be going into the office a few days per month.

Which roles are making a long-term shift to homeworking?

When we consider office-based jobs in London, we see a huge variety. Although there’s a general trend across the board of employers considering part or full-time homeworking, the types of roles that may become permanently home-based are more specific.

Generally speaking, professional roles that don’t rely too heavily on client contact lend themselves to working from home, as long as the right technology is in place. Many PAs in London are being encouraged to keep working from home, for example. There needs to be a high level of trust and transparency between the individual worker and their employer.

Other office support jobs in London are more difficult to keep home-based. Those working in facilities management or health and safety, for example, are usually needed onsite.

It doesn’t suit everyone

Of course, as employers realise the savings to be made by having smaller premises or reduced overheads, it’s tempting for them to consider homeworking as a long-term solution. However, that won’t suit every employee. Many benefit from being in the office. Additionally, many employers are discovering that their employees are quite different when working from home.

Employers may have different staffing needs in the office compared to homeworking. Employees may want to work from home, but their employer isn’t allowing this. Conversely, they may want to work in the office, but employers have made homeworking indefinite.

Whether you’re an employer or employee, if you’ve found that you no longer have a “good fit”, then it’s time to make some changes. Give us a call on 020 7870 7177.


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