Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Remote Working – What Have We Been Doing with Our Extra Time?

The world of work has seen great upheaval over the last few years, with new needs and new technologies breeding new norms for the average office. One of the leading ways in which this has been demonstrated is in the sudden popularity of remote or hybrid working arrangements – which, according to the ONS, over a third of workers in the UK have taken advantage of in some shape or form since the pandemic.

Remote working is popular in large part due to the savings it can offer employees, both in terms of money and time. When it comes to the latter, how much time have we been saving? And what have we been doing with it?

The Rise of Remote Working

The rapid increase in remote working was precipitated by the sudden onset of the global coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. Stay-at-home orders were imposed by the government, and industries had to pivot quickly to new working models in order to remain in operation.

Remote video-conferencing applications in the form of Zoom and Microsoft Teams enjoyed high demand, as businesses enabled workers to carry out their duties from home. The new approach proved popular amongst the working population, and was also demonstrated to improve productivity in comparison to office working.

After the pandemic, many businesses have maintained their stance on remote work. Though some businesses have attempted to return their staff to the office, a paradigm shift in worker philosophy has seen more employees push back and advocate for themselves – with many happily leaving their posts for positions that better meet their personal needs.

The Savings

Remote working has its mental benefits to employees, from devolution of responsibilities to calmer working environments and beyond. But there are also tangible benefits to ‘telecommuting’ – in the form of money and time. Remote workers are no longer commuting into work – thus saving hundreds of pounds per year on fuel or public transport costs.

But perhaps more valuable to the remote worker is the savings they make in minutes. Signage specialist instantprint conducted a report on the impact of working from home, and calculated that the home-working population save a national average of 9 days and 2 hours per year through cutting out their commute.

How Do We Use Our Time?

The same report surveyed 1,000 of the UK’s home-working population to discover how that additional time – an average of an hour each working day – was being spent. Over a quarter of respondents reported using that additional time for reading, while just less than a quarter admitted to watching television. Around a fifth of workers used their additional time for sleeping, and 18% found the fortitude to add to their exercise regime.

Despite the extra personal time added from the commute, more than half of workers surveyed reported working more hours than usual at home – demonstrating well the positive impacts a home-working agreement can have across the board.

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