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Why working from home can be good for your business

May 26th, 2020 by

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced many more people to work from home than has previously been the case. Employers have adapted quickly to provide collaboration and conferencing tools to make this possible.

But you might already be planning to ‘get back to normal’ once social distancing rules are relaxed, which is likely to occur in the coming weeks to some extent, and continue over the course of several months.

However, it’s worth considering whether working from home can be good for your business in the long term. You could find that in more stable times, flexible working conditions can unlock considerable benefits for you and your staff.

Employee Satisfaction

First of all, many employees would love to have the opportunity to work from home once the COVID-19 pandemic is over (and it will end, although that might seem unlikely right now).

Working from home doesn’t mean lower productivity. In fact it can increase output for some employees, while others will be more willing to keep working after 5pm to finish their duties for the day.

Overall, companies that fully embrace homeworking as a part of their regular culture – and provide staff with the tools they need to do their job from home as standard – often make significant productivity gains as a result.

Talent Pool Access

Working from home is a form of flexible working, along with others like job-sharing and flex-time that accommodate employees who are unable to work precise 9am-5pm hours.

Together, these kinds of flexibility give you access to a wider talent pool including individuals who might normally be shut out from jobs due to fairly arbitrary contractual requirements like working hours and workplace location.

By catering for their more flexible needs, you can pick up the very best individuals for the roles you recruit into, and gain talent that your competitors have missed.

Transport Disruption

Working from home, the only commute is from bed to the home office or kitchen table. In some jobs, it might not even be that far, as employees might reasonably log on from a laptop without leaving the warmth and comfort of their bed at all.

In any case, on days when there is significant transport disruption due to delayed or cancelled public transport or road closures, your workforce will still be able to log on remotely, whether homeworking is their default or just there as a backup.

Reduced Overheads

Finally, allowing employees to work from home can substantially reduce your overheads. If they never normally come into the office, you don’t need to provide them with a desk space, a computer (many will prefer to use their own laptop or PC if it’s safe and secure to do so) or consumables like stationery and tea or coffee.

Your utility bills will be lower, and your insurance could cost less too. In cases where your entire workforce can be home-based, you might be able to eliminate physical offices completely.

The potential benefits vary between different businesses, but they are often extremely compelling. So whether you have been forced to introduce homeworking by COVID-19 or you are simply curious about how it can help your business, it’s certainly worth considering for the long term.

How will COVID-19 affect office working?

May 15th, 2020 by

We’ve all made changes to the way we live, work and play due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing regulations, and office jobs have been some of the most significantly affected.

In recent years there has already been a trend towards working from home. Employment law has required that employers give serious consideration to employee requests for flexible working conditions, but these may have been dismissed in the past for various reasons.

The Coronavirus pandemic shifted the balance. It’s no longer a case of employers considering whether to make an exception for individual requests to work from home – instead, entire workforces were ordered by the government to stay in their homes if at all possible.

As we move through the pandemic and into the period that lies beyond it, it’s going to be much more difficult for employers to legitimately reject working from home requests from any employee, whether they have a ‘need’ for flexible working or not.

Working in pyjamas

We’re in a state of flux right now, but looking to the long term, will we all be working in pyjamas in the years to come?

It depends in part on how quickly we return to ‘normal’ social distancing conditions. At present, and for the foreseeable future, there will be a need to keep two metres apart wherever possible, including in the workplace.

That is simply impossible in most offices. Remember that two-metre exclusion zone applies in all directions – face-to-face, workers seated side by side, facing each other across a desk, in meetings, at the water cooler or coffee machine, and so on.

While it could be achieved in some workplaces by constant self-awareness and changes to working practices, it’s much easier for many companies just to let their employees stay home and dial in over the internet.

Keeping in touch

This raises the question of communication and collaboration. There are plenty of tools that allow teams to collaborate remotely, such as online platforms to enable multiple users to edit a document at the same time, and of course video conferencing apps.

At the moment many of those tools and applications are being offered for free, or for a significantly reduced price, but it could be hard for companies to find free or low-cost alternatives once the usual subscription models are reinstated.

By then, many employees will likely be reluctant to return to the daily commute and formal office attire, having had a taste of working from the kitchen table with their own preferred brand of coffee on tap.

Applying for office jobs in COVID-19

The truth is, nobody really knows which parts of the old system will return and which of the many significant and sudden changes will become part of the ‘new normal’.

When applying for office jobs during COVID-19, it’s worth asking the interviewer how much they have been impacted and what temporary and permanent changes they have introduced.

At the very least, this shows you have a long-term interest in working for their company, while giving you some insight into how quickly – and to what extent – they hope to return to their previous practices regarding flexible working conditions, once the Coronavirus emergency begins to ease.

Liz Hancock’s Lake District Mighty Hike

June 16th, 2017 by

Tomorrow, our very own Liz Hancock will be taking part in the Lake District Mighty Hike to support the fantastic charity Macmillan Cancer Support.  Whilst the rest of us will be enjoying our weekend in the sun, possibly with a BBQ, cold glass of wine or beer, Liz will be hiking her way through 25.1 miles of the Borrowdale and Langdale Valleys from Keswick through to Ambleside.

 

Liz has been preparing and training for this event for the past 4 months.  Instead of enjoying the start of summer and tucking into all the yummy Easter eggs and treats we have had in the office, Liz has been extremely dedicated and committed to the cause.

 

We are all so proud of you for supporting this excellent charity, we know that the money that you have raised will go on and make a massive difference to someone’s life.

 

We have no doubt that you will do it Liz and we can be sure that at the finishing line, there will a large cold glass of wine waiting for you.  We also promise to save you some of the chocolates in the office.

Good luck!!

 

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/elizabeth-hancock9

A Great Big Thank You!

December 22nd, 2016 by

We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported our Christmas Jumper Day and helped us raise money for the fantastic charity Save the Children.  We all had great fun trying to outdo each other’s Christmas jumper and we are so proud that we raised money for such a great cause.  Thanks again to each of you who donated as it will mean so much to so many children around the world. https://christmasjumperday.org/

CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY FRIDAY 9TH DECEMBER

December 5th, 2016 by

Here at Alexander Hancock we take Christmas very very seriously, Grainne plans her present list from July onwards, Natalie is the only one allowed to dress the tree, Liz keeps DHL, UPS and Amazon in business with her deliveries, and Anneliese? Well she is a bit Bah Humbug about it all, but we ignore her… basically Christmas is, in our opinion, THE best time of the year but…

We are incredibly aware that this time of year is very difficult for others, particularly those children who are living in appalling conditions in Refugee Camps, so we are having a CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY in our office on Friday 9th December to support SAVE THE CHILDREN. (www.savethechildren.org.uk)

The aim is to raise money to provide warm clothing for those children to help them keep warm through the winter, buy them food to keep up their strength and most importantly of all, provide a safe environment where they can be free from trafficking, slavery and the nightmares of war.

So we will donate £2 for every single person who comes into our offices on that day suitably attired in a Christmas Jumper and we will make an additional donation to the charity in our name.

Please feel free to pop in, have a mince pie and have a photo taken in your favourite winter woolly!

But if you can’t come in but want to support this amazing charity please text:

TEAMALEXHAN to 70050 and you will donate £2 to Save The Children

 

Thank you

LIFE AFTER THE EU REFERENDUM

July 4th, 2016 by

Nobody likes uncertainty but here is the thing; it is (as far as we can tell) a done deal and whatever your opinion, right now, this is the world in which need to operate today.

I am not going to hash through the pros and negatives of Leaving or Staying as quite honestly we have been talked at for the last 3 months and we are all tired of listening to so called experts who have not worked at ground level for a long long time, if ever. (more…)

Leicester City Championes!

May 3rd, 2016 by

Congratulations to Claudio Ranieri and his amazing team of players.. they have created a Fairy Tale ending to a fantastic season and have proved that when you are a team, when you feel that you are part of something, ANYTHING is achievable! So happy for the City of Leicester

Happy Birthday Your Majesty

April 21st, 2016 by

So our Queen is 90, and I for one would like to offer my sincere congratulations to a true icon of the Modern Age. The Queen stands for all that I believe to be amazing about this country; first our incredible history, unmatched by any other country on this planet and the reason why millions flock to our country every year to gape and photograph our landmarks, and her Majesty is our greatest asset of all. (more…)

Customer Service, When it Goes Wrong

September 5th, 2014 by

I am not going to name the company as Head Office finally trying to sort the issue but it has taken 6 weeks, my stress and anger levels reaching epidemic proportions and me actually wanting to smash my phone in sheer frustration to get to this stage…this is the story so far… (more…)

World War I Remembrance

August 4th, 2014 by

Today marks the hundredth year anniversary of the start of one of the bloodiest wars of our time. When war was declared on Germany, millions, literally millions of our boys signed up to protect our way of life, and as our women waved them off, they all thought they would be home by Christmas…

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