Working from home – a benefit that shall become a right?
During the pandemia time, most of the employees got used to working from fome and having flexible working hours. They benefit from avoiding stress while commuting, saving money on everyday travelling, food and other expenses connected to their everyday presence in the office. Moreover, they have valuable time to spend with their families and manage work-life balance efficiently.
Different countries approach differently towards working from home. In some, it is a normal part of employee´s life, in others it is still considered to be an uncommon practice. In Finland, almost 90% of the employees were allowed to adapt their working hours, making Finland the leading country in the flexible working schedule. The Finns also amended their legislation allowing even more flexibility by signing the Working Hours Act (effective from January 2020), allowing to decide not only the working hours, but also the place of work. Finland understood that the efficiency of their employees is dependent mostly on accomodating the working schedule to their personal lives, interests and desires. This might be also one of the keys to the happiness measured by the World Happiness Report, proving the Finns to be the happiest nation.
Some other countries want to chatch up, especially now after the lockdown, which is prompting the companies to offer home office and flexible working hours not only now, but also in the future. After the current pandemia time, flexible working should become the new norm. We shall also see the shift in the working culture. More and more employees will probably ask for flexibility in working already when being recruited and thus force the potential employers to be more open to such requests.
We will see whether this shift will bring us more effectivity in our work-life balance. However, this will also raise the question, if the companies will try to monitor their employees while working from home. But the lockdown restriction made a valuable testing platform showing that the long-term impact of Covid-19 on working trends seems to be unavoidable.