Despite the growing unemployment and economic hardship in the UK, a peculiar trend has been reported. Figures, released by The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) show that there has been a slight decrease in job vacancies for white-collar professionals in August. Permanent vacancies available on Britain’s job market have decreased by 3%, while the contractual placements decreased by 6%. Nevertheless, a surge of interview activities has been reported to increase by 6% during the last two weeks of August compared to the first two weeks of the months. With the revenue from the permanent placements also increasing, director of the Global Sales, Joe McGuire believes that the slight decrease witnessed earlier last month was merely a result of the holiday season and fewer working days. Despite the global pandemic, the threat of the second wave of the virus, and the detrimental state of the UK economy, experts maintain a positive outlook and stand by the prospect of the re-emergence of the white-collar sector that was hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, is that truly the case?
COVID-19 related regulations disrupted the normal way of life on various levels, but the healthcare crisis revealed one simple truth – most of the white-collar professionals can work remotely without impeding ( if not improving) the overall quality of their work. That revelation could lead to the entire sector of the global economy reformed with unlimited opportunities ahead of it.
Moreover, the cluster of white-collar workers could acquire some new features – by having an opportunity to work remotely and having some degree of independence and control over the workload and the working hours, white-collar workers could be more involved in various other economic activities. Since the COVID-19 lockdown has introduced e-commerce platforms for start-ups online and brokers worldwide have created opportunities for individuals to begin Forex trading with no money – the side hustle reached its all-time peak. Former employees of the financial sector who lost their jobs amidst the outbreak of the global pandemic turned to Forex to utilize the unique set of skills and knowledge to secure their income- all in the comfort of their own homes. London is regarded as one of the world’s largest financial hubs, with the financial sector producing thousands of highly-qualified professionals yearly. Having been cast aside by the companies that employed them, and having tasted the benefits of self-employment, they might not be willing to come back to the way things were before the global health crisis hit the industry.
In that case, what would it take for the white-collar sector to stay afloat and attract job seekers? Allowing workers to work remotely might just be the answer.
Happy Employee – Productive Employee
Allowing your employees to fulfill their obligations remotely can significantly increase their productivity, and, thus, maximize the profits. Working from home allows workers to maintain a healthy balance of their work, social life, and quality time with their families, and, which, according to the research findings, transfers to the overall happiness of the employees and increases their productivity. Similarly, allowing workers to have a degree of freedom can actually prove beneficial to the overall success of the company. Although the traditional way of assessing employees’ productivity is watching them work, one might find that having some trust in their sense of responsibility can lead to a higher degree of work ethic. With no time to waste on coffee breaks, or long journeys to the workplace and back home, workers tend to give their undivided attention to the daily tasks and complete them in a timely and effective manner. Finally, by allowing employers to work from home employer makes an invaluable contribution to their overall welfare, and, as recent studies have shown, often leads to a significant reduction in days called in sick.
Home-Based Workers Maximize Profits
As previously mentioned, working remotely has a significant impact on the workers’ productivity, and, hence, the profitability of the company. However, there are more, less obvious benefits that the employer can gain by allowing workers to work from home. Firstly, by providing opportunities for home-based work, the organization gives out an image of the individual recognition of each individual employee and demonstrates care about its team, which, in turn, transfers into a sense of trustworthiness, both among the potential customers, business partners, potential investors, job seekers, or the industry as a whole. Secondly, having workers stationed at home saves the company money, as it no longer has to pay for the rent and maintenance of the large working spaces, and instead investing that money into the development of the business. Finally, since a significant pool of workers would prefer an opportunity to work remotely to the prospect of a higher salary, employers can find themselves in a win-win situation with less spending, more profit, and happier employees.
Happy Prosperous Society
On top of benefiting both the company and employees, working remotely can contribute towards the overall welfare of the societies worldwide. Individuals will be able to manage their time in a way that allows them to spend quality time with their loved ones, feel productive, effective, and fulfilled, or even find an additional source of income. Arguably, with a large chunk of workers not having to travel to the workplace and back on a daily basis, countries will be able to reduce the levels of pollution significantly. What’s more, by not having to rely on the employees in physical proximity to the company’s premises and having an access to the pool of employees worldwide, employers might make a significant contribution towards lowering the prices for real estate, and, consequently reducing the rate of homelessness by making it more affordable.
Overall, it is good to treat the current situation as a test trial of what may become the future of white-collars working remotely.