Over the past years, working from a home or garden office has steadily increased. This is due to the demand for flexible working, and balancing a home/work lifestyle. However, due to Covid-19 and the global pandemic, this steady increase has inclined a lot quicker and put pressure on businesses to keep their staff safe and allow people to work more freely. This helps support parents with young children, those with busy lifestyles, and employees with complex circumstances.
Working From Home: What are the rules and laws?
Employees are no longer required to work from home from the 19th of July 2021. The benefits of flexible working are plenty and have positive effects on employees mental health as well as overall job satisfaction and engagement.
The latest news on working from home states:
- Employees are recommended to gradually go back to work. However, are suggested to work from home where possible.
- Employees are allowed to request flexible working, but employers can say no to these requests.
- Employers should provide a safe environment for employees.
The government are encouraging this new flexible way of working due to employee satisfaction and positive effects on mental health. Flexible working and working from home also reduces the spread of Coronavirus, keeping employees safe.
The modern way of working, with long hours and days, can put pressure on employees’ personal lives. This can add an overwhelming burden when working in-office all week and trying to balance personal duties. Therefore, the benefits of flexible working may mean you want to request this where possible.
Why flexible working conditions work
SMART are advocates for flexible working conditions due to the positive effects it translates onto employees. It works for lots of diverse people and boosts morale within companies, allowing for a better environment and happier workers.
In April 2020, statistics released by the UK’s Office for National Statistics showed 49.2% of adults in employment were working from home, as a consequence of the social distancing measures introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Changing attitudes and ever-improving network capabilities, this number is expected to continue its upward trajectory over the next 3 years. Over the past decade, a major increase across a range of sectors worked from home. The successful result meant businesses both small and large are increasingly implementing the remote working strategy into their model. This is one reason for the boom in garden office investment from remote workers as the benefits are evident for employers and employees alike. For example:
– Office costs reduced
– Better work/life balance
– Increased staff retention
– Environmental benefits
– Higher morale
– Wider talent pool
What if I feel unsafe working from my office?
Employers must do a risk assessment:
There are current laws that already protect workers. It’s a legal requirement, under the Health and Safety at Work Regulations Act 1974, for employers to carry out a workplace risk assessment. Employers must also take the actions that come from their risk assessment.
If you are being moved back into your workplace office after working from home, your working environment should be safe and preventative of the spread of coronavirus such as:
- Wearing face coverings in communal areas
- Minimising contact with customers or visitors
- Ensuring social distancing
- Staggered shifts
- Hand sanitation stations
- Frequent cleaning
These suggestions are there for employers are to help protect you, therefore should be considered.
If you feel that your workplace isn’t meeting employee safety standards
You can get citizens advice here if you feel that your workplace is unsafe to work in, and would like further answers regarding employee safety.
Prefer working flexibly? A Garden Office could be a Solution!
According to the new research, 65% of the working population were forced to change their place of work during 2020 as a result of the pandemic. Of these, 79% want to continue to have some form of remote working in future.
If you have worked from home or in a garden office and found that it has worked better for your lifestyle, and given you more work-life satisfaction, you can request this if your job role allows for working outside of your workplace location. Working from home can help you focus with less emotional distractions at work and can improve mental health. Therefore, you have the right to ask for flexible working. Nearly 50% of all SMART Garden rooms, offices and studios are used as a working garden office with multi-functional benefits. With the increase of working from home, Garden rooms provide a focused, productive area to work in.
If you have been working from home, and been considered for flexible working, we have spaces to suit your working needs. We have installed garden offices across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and London. check out what SMART Garden Offices has to offer you. There is a garden room to suit every taste, budget and garden size, with 7 unique and diverse ranges to choose from, available in 60+ sizes starting from just £10,525.
Check out our new SMART configuration AR visualiser App, where you can have a go at creating your very own garden office directly from your PC or tablet using our App. Design your SMART garden room now!
Speak to the team today – 0800 242 5559