Will working from home become the new normal?
Coronavirus may lead to more people working remotely, but in the long term is it suitable for everyone?
As precautionary measures are taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19, many will find themselves asked to work from home.
It may be a novelty for some, but this type of flexible working arrangement is increasingly popular. Remote working can make for a better work/life balance by allowing people to live further from their workplaces, and it can come in handy during periods of extreme weather when staff can stay safe at home.
But is everybody suited to working remotely?
Working remotely can benefit both employee and employer, suggested career coach Adrian Marsh on Mornings.
“For the employee, the number one thing that people love is the flexible schedule," he said. "You don’t have to be tied into the 9-5."
"Some people love the fact that you can work from anywhere, so maybe you take yourself off for a long weekend but you do a bit of work on the Friday in that location.
"And [some people find] working from home is nicer than working in cramped office environments."
Employers can benefit too, adds Adrian, from a reduction in office costs, as well as improved productivity rates from happier workers and longer retention of staff.
The right personality type
The comforts of home are certainly key to lifestyle blogger Laura Pearson Smith’s enjoyment of remote working. But she advised caution.
“You do have to be a certain personality type to work from home full time, she said. "But I also think you have to be free from anxiety and mental health issues to work full time in an office as well."
Working on your own at home will not suit everybody, Laura added. “You have to enjoy your own company if you work at home, you wouldn’t be someone that needs a lot of people around them,"
"You [must] be motivated, and you would enjoy what you do enough to actually do it and not end up watching box sets on the television."
Adrian noted that there are some downsides for people working remotely, too.
“They feel like they can’t switch off when they’re at home; they can also feel a little bit left out or a little bit lonely if they’re doing it permanently," he said.
Of course, some sectors such as hospitality, retail and manufacturing can't offer the chance of working from home, as Adrian acknowledged.
“It’s not for everywhere but it’s certainly in a lot more places than it used to be and I’m sure that’s going to continue to increase.
"The coronavirus might force those companies that have been reluctant [to] allow it to try it and then they’ll probably see the benefits for themselves," he said.