The average worker’s relationship with their work has changed undeniably in the last three years. New challenges and new opportunities alike have altered the face of flexible work, while a renaissance in employee self-worth has led to upward pressure on businesses to re-evaluate their employment practices.
While employees increasingly advocate for themselves, the things for which they advocate have beneficial impacts on businesses just as much as workers. Productivity is a much-misunderstood metric in the employment world, with seemingly counterintuitive provisions improving productivity and facilitating business growth in surprising ways.
Here, we will examine the impact that working location has on productivity; a conversation kick-started by necessary measures taken in a time of crisis, and which has become a much wider paradigm shift for businesses in the process.
The work-from-home revolution
Flexible working, at one point in time, simply referred to a worker’s ability to choose the point at which they started – and hence ended – their working day. Since the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to experiment with remote working on a wider level, though, new freedoms have been afforded the working population. These freedoms include increased control over their workload and the structure of their day, and, perhaps most notably, freedom from the financial and time cost of a daily office commute.
Remote and hybrid working (hybrid is a combination of home and office working) have proven popular even after the pandemic; not only with employees who have seen crucial time and money returned to them but amongst employers. According to research by HSBC, well over three-quarters of higher-growth companies in the UK found that hybrid working arrangements boosted productivity.
Growing appetite for travel
But the story doesn’t stop here. The revelation that remote working arrangements do not negatively impact motivation and productivity has led to a sea change in worker and employer opinions, leading to a renewed discussion on the viability of the ‘workcation’, or even of digital nomadism – that is, the freedom to travel abroad while continuing to work domestically.
The statistics are unequivocal, with an instantprint survey finding that around half of UK workers would take the opportunity to carry out their work abroad if their employer were amenable. The prospect of working and travelling raises interesting points about the effectiveness of travel on mental health and productivity.
But, if you were to take the opportunity to work abroad, how would it work? There are numerous professional benefits to attempting the workcation, from the prospect of growing international networks to working on new schedules altogether.
To make the most of an international working agreement, your employer might entreat you to take on new responsibilities in the form of outreach – requiring investment in business brochures and other promotional materials to further your personal and professional profile in a new city. You would also have to consider the cost of living, and of learning a new language to make your professional life as seamless as possible.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.