COVID-19: the pros and cons of working from home

In a recent interview  on ABC Radio with Richard Glover, Emma Walsh (Parents at Work) discusses how to adapt to the new work environment

In this new and changing situation we find ourselves in amidst the recent outbreak of COVID-19, businesses are changing the ways they do things, adapting to the unusual circumstances, and putting plans in place for the coming months that will enable employees to remain productive and secure.

Many companies are implementing ‘work from home’ plans, allowing their employees to work flexibly and remotely to avoid any illness. In an ABC Radio interview with Richard Glover  Emma Walsh discusses the pros and cons of working from home, and we hear from callers from around Australia about their own experiences working from home.

Full Radio Interview Link

The National Working Families Report last year showed that 88 percent of the 6000 respondents have accessed some form of flexible work arrangement, despite often facing negative attitudes to their flexible work requests. But we know that working parents and carers, both men and women, want to be able to work flexibly to better balance their family and career.

“Evidence suggests that a lot of people that work from home are more efficient,” says Emma Walsh, CEO Parents At Work. “The lines are blurred with clocking on and off, so it’s likely that people working from home potentially do more work.

“There’s the ability to be focused, have less distraction, and get more done of what you need to. There’s no doubt flexible working from home allows that more easily than a busy office.”

Callers rang in with their thoughts, with overwhelmingly positive experiences. Despite sometimes missing the lack of socialisation (for those that work from home full time), many believe it’s more comfortable to work from home, and they are more productive without the distractions of the office. The ability to choose flexible hours (e.g. starting early in the morning) and to be able to be there for children’s events were also agreed benefits.

“If we can create more jobs that have agility, then we create a better economic outcome. I do think we’d be more productive as a nation, and it does allow for multiple things to be achieved at once [with family and at home].” – Emma Walsh

Listen to the full interview above, or read the interview transcript here (PDF).

To learn more about what your organisation can be doing to support your employees with flexible work arrangements, contact info@parentsatwork.com.au.