The Government consultation on making flexible working the default

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The pandemic encouraged many of us into flexible working and, as restrictions continue to lift and employees return to the office, employers are anticipating an influx of requests around working remotely and flexibly.  

The Government has responded to this with a planned review later this year to examine a proposed expansion of employees’ rights regarding flexible working and working from home, the consultation will consider making flexible working the default. 

Despite there being no legal right for employees to work from home, employers should take this chance to review their current policies around flexible working, and their obligations as an employer. 

In many cases, the pandemic has had a significant impact on employees’ approaches to work and the need for flexibility, forcing businesses to adapt to these changes as restrictions are lifted. 

Employers will need to weigh up the potential benefits, such as increased productivity, against potential negative impacts on collaboration and team cohesion, while the Government considers plans to make flexible working the default. 

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However, working from home could prevent businesses and young professionals from realising their full potential

While some workers have enjoyed the greater flexibility of working from home, young professionals and those in the earlier stages of their career have, in particular, struggled with blurred work-life boundaries, unsuitable home working environments and missed development opportunities during the pandemic.  

It has been proclaimed that the majority of people will never return to the office on a full-time basis. Research from Deloitte during lockdown last year, found that 61% of desk-based workers wanted to work from home more following the pandemic. However, these statistics change substantially for those who are just starting off in their careers, with only 16% of young people preferring to work from home full-time. 

Learning from more experienced colleagues is a critical component of career advancement. Working from home has seemed like “living at work” for many people, but without the workplace benefits of in-person mentorship, networking opportunities, and the “water cooler moments” that are at the heart of early-career learning. 

Similarly, when companies provide in-person chances to their employees, it is not just those individuals who profit. Businesses may cultivate the talent that is critical to their long-term success by upskilling junior colleagues and providing them with in-person exposure to senior leaders. 

Here at HealthBoxHR, we are paving the way for the post COVID landscape by developing revolutionary future proof HR solutions for organisations of all shapes and sizes. With new regulations coming in every week concerning the pandemic and future working plans, we want to make sure it is business as usual. The HealthBoxHR platform offers employers full visibility of their workforce, whether they are working from home or in the office anywhere in the world. Many employers are worried about the effective flexible and hybrid working will have on their business, so we offer multiple tools that benefit both employers and employees alike.

Working from home makes it more difficult to check up on your employees, our One-to-One and Mental Health Management tool allow you to check in with your employers and identify where support might be needed. A recent poll found that 71% of employees rely on instant messaging applications in the workplace with communication being one of, if not the, key element to a productive and successful team. MyChatBox allows all staff members to communicate quickly and efficiently. All conversations can be accessed 24/7 using the HealthBoxHR app or on any web browser via all smart phones, laptops desktops or tablets.

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