Long gone are the days of donning a bowler hat and briefcase before heading off to the office – the same office, day in, day out.
We are becoming a nation of home-workers, co-workers and mobile workers, with ever faster and smarter mobile communication technologies like high-speed internet and video conferencing revolutionizing where – and even when – we can work.
Now, people can work from a day office Birmingham en route to a conference in London, or work from Manchester before their meeting in Edinburgh should they so with. It’s not the norm yet, but with offices kitted out for mobile workers popping up at a swift and steady pace, the ability to work anywhere at any time has never been easier.
Increased flexibility can suit employees with commitments like school runs; or alternatively those wishing to avoid a long and expensive commute because they have been forced to live in a remote area in order to avoid escalating property prices. But what are the pros and cons of mobile working for businesses?
Working from Home – A Happy Workforce
Studies suggest that employees are happier when working from home, which makes them more productive. The expensive, stressful commute is dispensed with and workers usually require only an internet connection to allow them log into work files so there are no big set-up costs involved.
Lower Rental Costs
With costs to rent and buy property at a premium, particularly in big cities like London and Birmingham, downsizing your office space could save a small fortune on monthly outgoings.
With smartphones we can be switched on almost all of the time these days. And therefore we can check emails or make and receive work calls at times that would have previously been lost – such as when waiting at airports or travelling on trains.
Loss of Work Life Balance
For some employees bringing work home can be a little like inviting Count Dracula over the threshold – once it has been invited in it is almost impossible to get it to leave. Work-life balance can be upset as work time bleeds into personal time. Being contactable at all hours doesn’t help and a happy workforce can easily become a disgruntled, overworked one
Where to Work?
If working at home is not an option for some reason, either in the short-term or long-term, then workers can become displaced. The advent of mobile office facilities up and down the country is making it easier for workers to rent an office space with all the office facilities they need in situ. But some still choose to work in public places, which can see private business details being sent over insecure internet connections – not ideal.
The Death of the Office Christmas Party?
A shared office environment can create a tight-knit workforce with strong and lasting bonds to the company, its culture and ethos. Office parties simply aren’t the same with a bunch of people who only see one another on screen for a catch-up twice a month. That can have a knock-on effect for a company’s ability to retain staff and create a stable, loyal workforce.