The COVID19 pandemic and associated lockdown have changed many aspects of our world; perhaps none so radically as the traditional office workplace. Businesses that had considered it impossible to offer a work-from-home option, suddenly found it a workable option. Truly there is now a new age of working and the old regime seems gone forever. Remote working is being championed by many, particularly on the employee side, but is it as good as it’s cracked up to be, and what are the options available?

In its simplest form, working from home is literally that. The employee does the same work from their own home, with the benefits of flexibility, zero commuting time, and more autonomy. Other options are operating from co-working spaces or following a hybrid model with some days in the office and some working remotely.

Where a hybrid model is followed, some businesses are operating a hot desk policy where the worker doesn’t have their own dedicated desk. Instead the worker uses avails of any available desk on days in which they work in the office. Whatever way it is approached, the working environment is evolving and changing at a remarkable pace.

Some people were initially very positive about working from home and the flexibility it offers. Are now finding that they don't concentrate as well and get less done, and are now wary of the unchanging reality. They miss their co-workers and the chats over coffee and lunch and their concentration levels have dropped.

Business owners have concerns over the ergonomics and the security of working from home. Particularly when employees opt to work in cafes, public places, or even the opportunity to work abroad for periods of time.

These security challenges are real in a digital world - does the person have a VPN (virtual private network), and are they protected? What happens when they come back into the office and plug their devices in? Another negative for remote workers to consider is the Gartner survey which showed that managers are more likely to promote employees who come into the office.

The office itself has changed too and many hybrid workers have found a very different environment on their days ’in’. Horror stories have emerged of people sitting in almost empty offices stuck on the same Zoom calls they would have been on at home anyway. Employers have a lot to think about in these very changing times.

One thing is certain, employees have had their eyes opened to possibilities they may never have considered before. Pandora’s Box is open and it won’t be closing again anytime soon. To attract and retain quality staff employers must invest in both physical and digital equipment.

If this is something your business is considering, talk to a trusted financial partner in the Irish market like GRENKE who has the flexible solutions you need. GRENKE offers fast and flexible financial solutions through a range of services including leasing and invoice finance. We match the perfect financial solution to your unique business needs, from small companies to large enterprises.