'Remote working' and 'working from home' is becoming more and more common with workforces. Businesses of the future must adapt in order to cope with the increasing complexities with our work life blend.
The 9-5 work day, long considered the norm, is becoming further detached from workers' personal commitments, and daily life. Working schedules have got to adapt around this change in the way workers manage their lives.
Whilst adapting can certainly improve productivity and efficiency for flexible working, there are still risks to workers' well-being that can often be forgotten about.
Remote workforce management expert, UniqueIQ believe that home workers are tempted to work for longer hours than their colleagues in the workplace. Although efficiency can be increased when working from home, this can sometimes be at the expense of overworking.
Remote workers have no commute to make, nor supervision to deter them from working for much longer hours - especially when deadlines are tight.
This behaviour can soon become a habit for remote workers. Management are unaware of the actual hours completed by remote workers. Stress and pressure could be silently building.
UniqueIQ reckons that people who are entering the workplace over the next 20 years will feel less loyal towards a single employer. They will favour freelance work over remaining with one company for long periods of time.
Therefore, if a business wants to retain staff, employers will need to adjust their incentives away from conventional rewards such as financial bonuses. Instead companies can offer flexible working or other kinds of benefits that can support the workforce's lifestyle.
The workforce of the future will expect employers to place their wellness at the top of their priorities, offering schemes and programmes to support remote working.
They will want fulfilling, ultra-flexible and on-demand careers and they will challenge the norm to remake work culture in their own image.
Businesses which boosted their staff's levels of wellbeing from 'low' to 'moderate' saw a productivity rise of 13 percent amongst their workforce according to the Workforce Futures report from UBS.
Failing to recognise this need for wellness in the workplace, and the benefits that can be enjoyed from implementing appropriate strategies, could be detrimental to many companies in the future.
David Lynes, director of UniqueIQ said, "There are many positive benefits of allowing staff more flexibility in their working role including reducing overhead costs, increasing loyalty and greatly improving productivity.
But that doesn't mean that this is the 'perfect' workforce solution and that it doesn't present its own challenges. Home working must be strategically implemented with the correct procedures in place in order to ensure the happiness and wellness of staff is maintained.
It is important for management to keep a close eye on the working routine of those that operate from home in order to become aware of those that may be at risk of burning out, but understandably this is difficult without any physical presence."