Remote working is a fairness issue  By Laura Beales

The last 12 months have shown us that most office jobs can be done from home.  With 86% of professionals saying they do not want to return to the office full time ever again it is clear that Covid has the potential to fundamentally change the way we work forever.  But is remote working really a fair solution?

WFH has fairness benefits 

Flexibility offers huge advantages to those who are balancing a job with other commitments. Families with two parents commuting suddenly have an additional four hours a day available to look after their kids.  We all know that childcare disproportionately impacts women - with 17% leaving the workforce as a result and many missing out on promotions and opportunities as childcare takes them away from their desks.  By providing the flexibility for people to work from home and cut out their commute we have an opportunity to transform the lives of our workforce.

"There is privilege in being able to travel miles to reach a desk for 9 am and to leave it at 6 pm" (Make Work Better) 

But we should not forget it also has many fairness issues

Our recent survey showed that 51% of people did not have a suitable place to work from home.  Inevitably, it is those in more junior roles or who are less well paid that suffer. There is a direct correlation between how good a worker's home setup is and how much they want to return to the office.  Yes, we can provide employees with equipment to work from home but this is not a long-term solution for those that do not have an appropriate space to work.

"Providing people with homeworking equipment is just putting a band-aid on the problem" Thomas Forstner, Juro

We have all heard housemates on voice calls or seen people hiding their kitchen tables with zoom filters. The reality is working from home does not work for everyone.  Yes, Covid has shown that commuting into a city centre five days per week is a waste of time but what do we do about those who are struggling? 

This is a moment to rethink how we work 

Due to the way Covid has forced remote work on us - there seems to be an assumption that going forwards people will work either in the office or at home.  But at Tally Market we believe there is a third way.   

1 - Local workspaces within walking distance 

At Tally Market we want to enable truly local working.  There are under-utilised spaces across the whole of the UK close to people's homes and with the facilities and environment that will help employees do their job well.  Enabling people to work locally allows companies to make sure they are looking after their WHOLE team (not just those with a nice house).  

Local workspaces that employees choose themselves also recognises that people are individuals and that everyone works differently.  Some people like a library environment to work others thrive on the buzz of being surrounded by people.  By offering your people the flexibility to choose what works for them you will enable your team to bring their best self to work.

2 - Collaboration spaces for teams to come together 

Our recent survey and Leesman's study into remote work both conclude that the key reasons people want to return to the office are to see their team.  

But again we are assuming that team collaboration is best done in an office.  Whilst a lot of companies are recognising that this is not the case with large companies such as Google, Amazon and Uber opting to turn their offices into hospitality inspired spaces.

Just as favourite restaurants or resorts curate emotional responses, experiences and memories, so too can workspaces. Brian Parker

Rather than spending a fortune ripping our office building apart and creating in-office “neighbourhoods why don’t we consider using existing neighbourhoods that have always been built and designed for people to come together? We don’t need to reinvent the wheel these spaces already exist!

Work from Anywhere

Covid has proven that we can work from home but we need to question this further — a city-centre office or our homes are not always the best solutions. By embracing the fact that we can work from anywhere we have a huge opportunity to make where (and how) we work more fair for everyone.

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