Following the government’s recent announcement setting out a roadmap out of lockdown many workers will now be looking ahead to a date when they will return to the office. But the return to the office also means a return to commuting.
And with research showing that workers in the UK have reclaimed around 257 hours back on average since ditching the commute last March, how will returning to the office impact any potential new work life balance workers may have carved out for themselves?
In order to help make sure that people are seeing the benefit of their reclaimed time, CRM system provider FLG have looked at ways employees can truly get the most out of their time and how businesses can promote a more productive work life balance.
One of the easiest ways to get more time out of your day is to change when that day starts. For a lot of us there is a temptation with working from home to give ourselves a lie in, afterall the furthest any of us have to go to work is probably our kitchen.
However by getting up as little as an hour earlier every day, you can actually gain two weeks worth of spare time back in your life. Giving you plenty of time for a morning workout or to catch up on the day’s news or even just binge another episode of your favourite show before you even start getting ready for work.
However as shown from the figure above, ditching the daily commute is the most beneficial way for office workers to reclaim some of their time. The real advantage here is that not only will you gain time back in the morning, but also after work too meaning you can continue being productive with your time long after you’ve logged off for the day.
How workers chose to spend that time is of course down to them. You could decide to dedicate this time to your other responsibilities, perhaps helping your kids out with their homeschooling or going to the supermarket to stock up on essentials for an elderly relative.
Or you might decide that the best use of this time would be to invest in some self-care, like getting lost in a good book or practising mindfulness to help you unwind from your day.
Real savvy office workers can even look to reclaim their lunch hour as well, seeing as you’re working probably less that 10ft from your kitchen at any given time.
By preparing their lunch in advance, perhaps with that extra hour they gained from waking up early, they can actually free up their lunch time and maybe get out of the house for a bit walking with any furry friends or just on their own. This break away from the same four walls and into the fresh air will often help revitalise yourself and prevent you from hitting a slog later in the afternoon.
And it’s not just workers that stand to gain from people reclaiming these lost hours, businesses can too. After all, if people are more productive with their spare time it also stands to reason that this approach will cross over into their working time as well.
In fact research from Deloitte indicates that 55 per cent of British workers believing their colleagues are just as, if not more, productive now than they were pre lockdown; perhaps due to having found a better work life balance.
However that being said productivity gains are not guaranteed for everyone and there are a number of ways businesses can help their employees find this balance. For example pre-pandemic flexible working was a hotly debated topic, with the 9 to 5 having ruled the business world long before Dolly Parton.
However as the pandemic and the shift to working from home has proven, change doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Letting go of the one size fits all approach to work also allows employees to adjust their working schedule to accommodate their situations which can not only improve their wellbeing, but also have a positive impact on productivity levels.
As already evidenced by how productivity levels have been positively impacted by employees ditching the daily commute and giving people the time to fit their lives around their work schedule.
The commute will return, but that doesn’t mean businesses and employees can’t look for new ways to regain that better work life balance they’ve achieved over the last year.
Lauren Shaw from FLG adds: “It can be easy to think of productivity just relating to your work life, however it’s important to feel like you’re getting the most of your downtime too. It’s just as important to invest some time in yourself, for the sake of your physical and mental wellbeing as it is to invest time in your career.
Work life balance is a phrase that has been thrown around for years but for many employees it has often been difficult to find that balance. The current shift to working from home has blurred the lines somewhat between the two sides, however it has also presented an opportunity for people to reclaim some of their lost time and invest it in their personal lives which can only be a good thing.”
FLG specialise in providing a unique CRM system designed for UK small to medium-sized B2C businesses that want to automate and control their processes. With a unique focus on intelligent workflows, over 350 happy customers and 5,000+ unique users rely on our platform to manage their sales leads, ensuring nothing is ever missed and no opportunities are left behind.