Agility is key for the future of work
This year has resulted in a significant shift in the way we work, bringing new challenges for us and our clients. Emma Milgate of the London Accountant Editorial Board weighs up the positives and negatives.
Pre-lockdown I was working from home a couple of days a week which worked well for me and my work-life balance, but now working at home has led me to think about the long-term, and does it work?
It has given me the opportunity to spend more time with my family, combining walking to school with a daily walk at the time I would usually be commuting, which has made for significantly less stressful (and quieter) mornings.
In terms of working with colleagues and clients, we are all in the same position and although it is different and has some practical challenges, I have found it easier to see clients more often. It has also been inspiring to see the level of involvement across all of our team so that everyone can easily attend meetings regardless of where we meet.
There are some challenges; Collaborating is not the same as in-person as you cannot read body language as well over a screen and generally, only 1 person can speak at a time resulting in “no you go” ping pong.
I have found it difficult to switch off from work now it is full time in my home. My working day has become elongated to include what was my evening commute, meaning that I do not have that time to unwind. I have however been finding ways to adjust to this, including a ceremonial zipping of my laptop into a bag of an evening.
After 6 months of working from home I do want to go back to the office to meet with colleagues and interact in person. However, to give me balance and to maintain my less stressful mornings I would not want to do so every day.
I expect that our places of work will evolve to become collaborative spaces where we go to have team and client meetings. I think that the future of the way we work will depend on our personal circumstances, our role, our team and how our clients work and this will evolve over time, meaning that we will need to be genuinely agile in the way we work.