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Is Work-Life Balance The Most Important Factor For A Career Change?

Working hours are a huge topic of debate in the UK as many people seem to believe the “work-life balance” in this country leaves a lot to be desired for. As the debate has grown in discussion over the past few years, working professionals are now putting this above other factors such as career progression and location when searching for a job. What does this mean for employers? They are now heavily committed to improving the work life balance. We have seen a number of new techniques actioned by bosses with the main approach being the ability for members of staff to work from home at least 1 day a week. Studies by Work-Wise show that the number of employees “working from home” in 2019 is up by 118,000 to a total of just over £1.6m.

By working from home, it gives employees the belief that their employers have a heightened level of trust in them. The micromanagement approach is an ideology that seems to be heavily outdated and working from home gives staff the ability to complete the tasks necessary without being constantly overseen. In addition to this, employees no longer have to spend hours commuting to and from the office. This is key as by freeing up this time (which is on average 2 hours a day) it allows staff to spend time with family, go to the gym or simply just relax- improving their general work-life balance.

However, employers have seen that there are sometimes difficulties in communication when the majority of staff are operating remotely. The issues in communication partly come in the form of the lack of group brainstorming to produce new ideas between staff and also a lack of colleague support when staff encounter issues. Moreover, it can be detrimental to the company culture as the opportunities to bond as a team are extremely limited.

The results of working from homes can differ by industry. For example, in sales led businesses, it is sometimes seen as impossible to work from home as efficiently as it would be to do so in an office. A key component required to keep a sales workforce motivated and producing, is the natural energy/ “buzz” derived from the competitive office environment. This allows all staff to thrive off one another and reach their targets. On the contrary, by allowing staff to work from home, it enables workspace to be freed up. This gives companies the ability to grow their staff headcount without having to incur further costs such as moving to a bigger office.

It can be argued that the pros outweigh the cons and vice versa but with the trend increasing year on year, it looks like it’s here to stay!

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