Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, working from home was a dream for most people. However, as lockdown commenced and businesses were forced to operate remotely, the reality of working from home has proved to be quite different to what people imagined.
The question is, when the lockdown lifts completely, will remote working stay?
How have businesses cope with working from home?
While many workers have found it difficult to adjust to home working, the majority are actually handling it surprisingly well. Jellyfish Pictures, a London based special effects and animation company, have found it particularly beneficial having their staff work from home. They are now planning on introducing remote working on specific days of the week moving forward.
However, not all businesses are dealing with the changes quite so well. Certain types of businesses find it particularly difficult to operate remotely. So, if it were to stay, some businesses would need to figure out how they can adjust their services to enable staff to work from home.
The risks of home working
As beneficial as home working can be, it can also pose a lot of risks to businesses. These include:
- Tax and legal risks
- Loss of productivity
- Delays in international business
- Security risks
The above are the main risks businesses need to consider when working from home. Tax and legal issues can be particularly damaging to businesses. If employees are working from home for example, they still need to follow health and safety guidelines. Things can get particularly tricky if you are operating internationally.
There is also a risk productivity will drop when workers are operating from home. However, early indications show most workers haven’t suffered a loss of productivity. Whether this will be true in months to come remains to be seen.
Of course, there are also security risks associated with remote working. Hackers are always looking to steal information online and they have an increased chance of doing so if your employees are working from home.
How to adapt to working from home
Thankfully, all of the challenges presented can be addressed by businesses. To prevent legal issues, especially with international remote working, seeking advice from Withers can help.
Companies can also invest in top notch security software for their employees. VPNs are also useful in protecting company data. Apps and software can also be used to boost productivity.
While home working has caused some disruption to businesses, it seems most are gradually getting the hang of it. However, as remote working looks set to stay, it is important for businesses to address the challenges it presents. Unless the risks are fully accounted for, it could lead to a high level of losses, particularly if legal issues arise.