Many workers will have felt the strain from the cost-of-living crisis — with, for example, petrol prices reaching an all-time high and rail fares increasing at their fastest rate in nine years, as revealed in a Business Leader article.
So, if you don’t live within easy walking or cycling distance of your workplace, you could have found simply commuting to it surprisingly expensive recently. All of this begs the question: should you work much like you probably did during lockdown, i.e. from home?
What Financial Support is Available to You?
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has recently made moves to help UK households contend with the cost-of-living crisis. These interventions have included a £150 rebate on council tax and, as will be available from October, a £200 repayable discount on energy bills.
Hence, some money you might have previously been spending just on tax and energy could potentially be freed up to help keep you commuting. However, in practice, you could find that the government measures are much more of a lifeline than a luxury.
Could You Easily Switch Back to Working from Home?
Of course, you might never have entirely stopped in the first place. Even if you did largely relinquish your former work-from-home habit as more COVID-related restrictions were eased, you could probably easily reprise it — especially if you still have all of the same gear you used for it.
Another advantage of going back to working entirely from home is that, if you had already done so regularly since March 2020, you could have a good idea of what kind of home office setup is especially effective for you. In short, there could be far less ‘trial and error’ involved this time.
Many Employees are Already Yearning to Work from Home
In a recent poll of 2,992 workers, 45% reported that they were attempting to persuade their managers to let them work from home more often.
The workers’ objective here was to mitigate rising fuel costs — and only 25% of the survey respondents said that these costs would not change their working arrangements. Another 35% said they did not yet know either way, according to People Management.
A separate poll, in this instance of over 1,000 UK-based managers, revealed that a third of them were concerned about their organisations’ financial performance. Consequently, 48% had decided against giving pay rises for 2022.
How Working from Home Could Benefit Both Employers and Employees
“Cost pressures are hitting employers and employees alike, and something in the system will have to give,” Anthony Painter — the director of policy at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which held the above-mentioned survey — admitted.
However, for companies, implementing a work-from-home policy would cost them far less than pay rises, as it literally wouldn’t cost them anything.
Meanwhile, even if, as a worker, you are asking yourself “What is a webinar platform?”, you could be pleasantly surprised by quickly you can get to grips with keeping in touch with co-workers and customers alike from a distance.