LETTER: Home working can be beneficial for staff and firms

A reader discusses working from home and its benefits.

A generic photo of a man working from home.
A generic photo of a man working from home.

Much has been made of the recent push to get the majority of those office workers who are not still at medical risk from Covid-19 back into their offices. I disagree, and not because of Covid-19.

I have partially worked from home for 23 years. It’s the best for my work/life balance and the best for my employer’s productivity based on my contributed output.

I fail to see why spending dead time commuting is anything other than a drag on either my productivity, or cutting into my own personal time outside of my working hours. By working at home full time since lockdown began, I have effectively had a 10 per cent pay rise while still being on the same money – just by cutting out most of the fuel for my car, parking charges, and trips out to cafés etc at lunchtime.

I don’t doubt that the push is designed to help ancillary businesses located near to offices such as shops, bars and restaurants, but that’s not a good enough reason to keep unviable businesses going that otherwise can’t survive on a reduced income. How many food outlets does one town really need after all?

There’s an old adage that ‘work is what you do, not where you do it’.

Artificially forcing people to work from one location or another when that has no relevance to the work itself or its quality makes no sense.

With modern broadband connectivity and the use of business class online conferencing tools, it is now very easy to keep in professional-looking touch with both customers and colleagues.

For example, twice a week my team has a virtual coffee break half hour within core working hours where we talk about anything other than work.

Done right and with employer support providing the necessary digital tools, home working is neither unproductive, anti-social or lonely – and you might effectively get an indirect free pay rise to boot!

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