Are you one of the many professionals who’s working life has been affected by Covid-19? Maybe you’ve been forced to work from home or make some adjustments in your place of work. Whatever it may be, a majority of us have had to make changes to our days that can sometimes seem far from normal. Some people will go back to working the way they did before, others may want to make a consistent change to their working life post Covid-19. People are realising that they have more power than they thought over their current jobs. You might have had the opportunity to work in different ways and review how you want your working life to be after Covid-19.
According to The Office for National Statistics, 42% of people want to make a permanent change to their working life post Covid-19. What many people are starting to understand now is that we do have the ability to work from home or more flexibly. There may have been moments where we may have wanted to go back into our place of work for a bit of normality, but in many instances, it’s possible to do your job well when working remotely. If you want to keep this as your ‘new normal’ then your employer shouldn’t be the one to get in your way. There are a few things you should be considering when it comes to making change to your typical working life.
Take your schedule into consideration
Everyone has different schedules and commitments. Going into an office just isn’t a viable option for everyone all the time, anymore. Once we go back to the ‘new normal’ you might not be able to go back into work straight away because of other commitments. Try and think about what you would like now, so when the time comes you are ready with a decision. Employers are generally understanding that if they don’t jump on the bandwagon and give their employees the flexibility, they both want and deserve, then they will be paying for it later.
Is the commute worth it?
Not everyone likes their commute. It might be too long, or maybe you’ve had enough of waking up early to get on a train that is likely to be late. The commute to work might be a big factor in deciding if you want to change the way you work. You might be happy to commute 2-3 times a week and work from home for the rest of it, or you might decide that your commute is far too long, and you want to make a permanent change.
Sometimes a commute can affect your whole working day and can leave you feeling tired by the end of it. Whether we believe it or not, sitting in traffic or getting on a train can leave us feeling tired and over time, can lead to a bit of resentment over our workplace. If you’ve had a taste of the home working life and you’ve enjoyed being able to take a bit more time in the morning, then see what changes you can make to help your work be that bit more enjoyable.
What are your productivity levels like at home?
We all know working from home comes with distractions, but so does your normal workplace. They’re just different kinds of distractions, so we shouldn’t feel guilty for them. You need to think about if you have been more productive whilst you’ve been working in a different environment. Comfort and convenience of being able to work from home can be important but the most important part of our jobs is being able to do it and get work done well. Some people just work better in the comfort of their own homes.
However, if you enjoy working from home but you think you struggle to feel motivated, then you might still need a few days in your workplace when you’re able too. Working from home isn’t for everyone and in the long run, think about your productivity and how you would handle the permanent change.
What future work schedule would you like?
Of course, nothing is set in stone forever. If you want to work from home now but change your mind later, then do whatever you feel is best for you in this moment. You can go back on your decision because people’s situations change.
Due to everyone’s experience over recent months, your employer is more likely to be flexible with where you want to work and even the hours you want to work. Throughout this pandemic, people have been learning what time of day is best for them to work, as well as the location. You might work better earlier in the morning or you might need that extra sleep and prefer to start a little later. Whichever suits you, employers have begun to recognise that not everyone works to the same schedule. So have a nice long think about what has worked well for you through this period of time and what hasn’t worked so well. Fit your work schedule around you and see if your employer will comply. You’ve got nothing to lose by simply asking.
Do you feel safe? Is your employer taking care of you?
The most important thing right now is your safety. Many, if not all employers, will be making sure precautions are taken for their staff to feel safe enough to go into the workplace. But not everyone will feel comfortable going back to the workplace straight away. You need to try and understand what makes you feel safe, if your employer has done enough and what you can do to be comfortable at work. Even when things go back to ‘normal’ you need to know you will feel safe and secure enough to go back to work. It will affect the standard of your work otherwise. So, if you’d want to go back to the workplace but don’t feel like it’s the right time yet, make your voice heard.
Home working has been an option for many professionals for a long time now but isn’t always viable for everyone. Depending on what engineering sector you are in, you might need to spend time in the workplace. But does it have to be every day? It’s safe to say that the time we have spent in our homes during this pandemic has sometimes been a little strange, but in some ways, it has been good for us. You may have begun to understand that sometimes the office or workplace isn’t necessary, and you should start thinking about steps you can take to better your working life.