Working from home has become a hot topic of debate: one side of the fence, there’s the argument that a more flexible working style is better for work-life balance and therefore a stress reducer; on the other, there’s research that shows that working from home increases feelings of loneliness and mental distress.
Despite this, one sector is reporting that remote access technologies that enable home working have helped them feel less stressed at work – and that’s IT. Faced with the challenge of supporting both remote and office workers, one third of IT leaders have reported feeling less stressed at work thanks to flexible technologies.
According to new research from Splashtop, a leader in remote access and support software, two fifths (42%) of IT decision makers go as far as stating their job is more enjoyable as a result of the lack of stress they feel with flexible technologies in place.
However, IT leaders are aware that there are challenges in the road ahead for them. The research found that 1 in 4 (25%) of those surveyed expects flexible working to become more complex as employers accommodate flexible working patterns and the specific remote working needs of different individuals – which IT will be required to support.
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The research also found that IT leaders now work longer hours as a result of flexible working practices. 35% say that flexible working has made their job harder, but the majority (61%) say they work no more than an extra hour a day to accommodate this shift in working practice.
“[I]t is clear that having concrete plans in place around flexible working will be important for tackling many anticipated concerns in the coming months,” commented Alexander Draaijer, General Manager EMEA at Splashtop. “Investing in remote access tools will give IT managers peace of mind with regards to their budgets and confidence in facilitating an efficient and productive workplace, which will ultimately lead to a better employee experience and happier workforce.”
Whether you’re in IT or not, working from home can present challenges – not least that it’s hard to ‘switch off’. The boundary between work and home life can become blurred when you’re working in your own bedroom or living room, and some people have reported an increased expectation from bosses to be available at all times. A poll conducted by Hays last August found that more than half of British professionals working from home due to the pandemic were working longer hours than they did in the office.
With this in mind, it’s important to set boundaries - and there are some simple things you can do:
Create a dedicated workspace. This will help stop your working life spilling into your home life and driving you mad!
Be firm about setting your hours. Flexibility is a benefit of working from home, so you may not necessarily want to work a 9 to 5 – but you shouldn’t be working until late in the evening, either. If necessary, enter breaks etc onto your calendar so that your co-workers can see your schedule – and stick to it.
Take regular breaks. Again, schedule these if need be.
Take days off and holiday. You are entitled to that time – remember, you’re working to live, not living to work!