For years, analysts predicted a future where remote and flexible working would be a mainstay, with professionals being able to make their own schedules and work from their homes.
This prediction was expected to take place over the course of several years, but the pandemic has thrusted it into our current reality. Even now that governments have loosened restrictions and lockdown measures, companies are keen to keep newfound flexible strategies.
“All signs indicate that this crisis is going to reshape the experience of work,” said Brigid Schulte, director of think tank Better Life Lab. “Now that we’ve seen each other’s full lives, the case for flexible work is going to be a lot easier to make.”
In 2014, the UK government passed a motion that allowed all employees who have been working at their company longer than six months to be able to request flexible working. However, according to a 2019 poll from the Trades Union Congress, one in three of those requests are turned down.
Prior to the pandemic, despite the slow moving transition to a more flexible workplace, the idea that having employees in the office equated to more efficiency and productivity was the popular opinion. Now that companies large and small have been forced to adopt this new way of working, those misconceptions have eroded.
Still, remote working in 2020 is much different than anticipated as it has been fueled by an unprecedented global pandemic. That means not only are professionals staying home, but their children are too. This can make things difficult to find the time to balance work and parental responsibilities.