Working from Home or Not? Virtual Work Practice Post Covid
For over a decade I've been asked by candidates for the chance to work virtually, perhaps a day or two a week. The main justifcation from agencies for not on-the-whole allowing flexibility is for reasons of cultural cohesion and a belief that business effectiveness is derived best from in-person collaboration.
Why Virtual Working Will Be More Significant post-COVID
The single most compelling reason, the knoweledge gained by team leaders of their team working virtually. The planning head now knows who can and who can't perform virtually.
Does This Mean Most Will Be Working Virtually Post-COVID?
No. There are several reasons why most will continue working on-site.
i) Those that can't work well from home - Some perform poorly working in isolation; Some have domestic situations which make working from home difficult.
ii) Those that don't want to work from home - 20 - 30 year olds (and others!) that have moved to a big city, don't want to spend their lives locked in their studios. Work serves a 'much' bigger purpose than simply making money. Many want to escape their apartments for sanity that social interaction brings.
iii) Those that shouldn't work from home - In the absence of formal industry training which has virtually disappeared from agency life, to most effectively develop expertise, the concept of 'learning on the job' requires physical proximity.
iv) Control - Many team leaders will continue to require physical attendance justified on the basis of cultural cohesion and creative optimization.
How Will The Future Look?
No one really knows but it's likely that most businesses will continue to develop more agile operating models. Smart places of work will reward more employees with greater flexibility to work from home. Well led places will seek to optimize the benefits of technology and to enhance work culture by adopting a balanced approach to flexi' working. Perhaps flexi' will increase by 20% in the next few years post COVID.