Guest Post written by Farah Ali, SEO and Content Lead at Flexa Careers
With the cost of living crisis showing no signs of slowing down, could we see millions of employees wanting to head back into the office?
Households face crippling costs for the use of gas and electricity in their homes; with winter approaching, the cost to heat a home in the UK will have at least doubled compared to 2021.
The energy crisis isn’t the only issue, though. We’re seeing increased prices across everything, including necessities such as food and shelter; many will struggle to manage costs, despite making cuts in their expenditure. Incomes remain stagnant, and prices are increasing, which equals less disposable income.
Businesses will be impacted too and will have to cut costs; we’re seeing the effects of this already with the increase in redundancies. It’s said that 1-5 employers will likely make redundancies over the next year, making employees anxious and worried about whether their jobs will remain safe.
It’s a difficult road ahead, to say the least. Let’s take a look at what this could mean for employees and employers, and the impact this could have on flexible working.
The costs of working from home vs. working in the office
Although working from home eliminates the costs associated with commuting to and from work, these aren’t the only costs to consider.
Remote employees see an increase in spending across utility bills, with 86% of respondents for the 2021 UK census reporting that their spending there had risen. Childcare is another expense. With childcare costs in the UK being some of the highest in Europe, alongside buying food for breakfast, lunch and hot drinks, working parents are seeking workplace flexibility in order to help alleviate some of these costs.
So the question remains, which way of working is the most cost-effective? There’s no black-and-white answer, unfortunately.
This will ultimately be different for each individual and will vary depending on overall lifestyle—whether you’re renting versus owning outright, whether you’re a parent or pet owner, maybe you work best in a busy office environment, or maybe the complete opposite. There are many factors that will determine where and how people want and need to work.
Many companies and employees are leaning towards remote-first or hybrid working arrangements. Data trends from the Flexa Careers platform showed searches for remote-first jobs had risen by a whopping 74% between August and September. Rather than deciding what’s best for their employees, giving them a choice is invaluable.
However, there will be many employees that don’t have an office to go to this winter. So what are their options in times like these?
Is there a solution?
The answer is yes! Remote-first and fully remote companies are embracing coworking spaces to allow employees to work from anywhere, anytime. The Hubble Pass gives employees on-demand access to over 1000 coworking spaces, meeting rooms, private day offices and event spaces worldwide, and you only pay for what you and your team use so it’s completely flexible.
This allows employees to regain social elements into their lifestyle, which can also help improve mental wellbeing and help with the worries around sky-high utility bills. Employees can also connect, engage and network with others outside their company. As again, this comes down to the best solution of all, giving your team a choice.
This highlights the benefits of flexible working
A flexible working approach opens the doors for more freedom and choice amongst employers and employees, whether that be the choice of working from home, or a mixture of working at home and in a coworking or office environment.
Remote working certainly won’t be a thing of the past but we do think remote-first will likely remain the most favourable option. After all, choice is key.