Does WFH mean a better work-life balance?

There’s no doubt that working from home has been a growing demand amongst the global workforce. Since 2005, regular working from home has grown 173% [1] and according to International Labour Organisation statistics, in 2019, 7.9% of the employed population (260m people) worked from home on a permanent basis. [2].

But since then, the Covid pandemic has let the cat out of the bag. Many businesses got more than 90% of their staff working remotely, including jobs like call centre staff and city traders where it had never been thought possible before. [3] As a result, the 80% of the working population wanting to work from home [1], suddenly experienced it long term.

Historically however, WFH home was closely associated with malingering, boxset binging or hangover management. But the pandemic has proved this is definitely not the case.

Recent analysis by the Boston Consultancy Group has proved that Covid forced remote working models have created real benefit. The study showed that companies with optimised remote models witnessed increased productivity of between 15% & 40%, a 10-15% reduction in staff turnover, a 40% reduction in absenteeism, and potential cost reductions in real estate and resources of over 20% [3]

Where we live & where we work is becoming less clear

With some sources suggesting that remote working will directly save businesses $4.5 trillion by 2030 in the USA alone [4], working from home is definitely here to stay. Research also shows that, 40% of companies will offer remote working models in future [3], potentially giving more than 1 billion people opportunity to work remotely post the pandemic.

But there is a note of caution. Employers must remember several key factors when rolling-out successful remote working models. The lack of an office community can lead to increased isolation, the risk overworking and result in greater levels of stress. When coupled with home life distractions, the line between where we work and where we live is increasingly blurred, disrupting a positive work-life balance.

Providing staff with access to the right technology, the need to monitor and look after employee physical / mental health and delivering an assured work-life balance are essential. Companies embracing and investing in these areas, as well ensuring the home / office transition is seamless, will see the greatest results in the inevitable new norm.

Striking a better work-life balance

Traditionally working from home has seen employees utilise the spare room, kitchen or dining room table. Indeed one area of growth in the UK’s lockdown era has been with retailers selling home furniture, sales of which were 39% higher [5] than normal, including Wayfair who saw their share price rocket by 37% as a result [6]

However, workers seeking out a better work-life balance, those wanting a change to their usual scenery and the ingenuity of the hospitality industry has seen growth in a very different area – Working From Hotel and Workcations.

Hotels have long been associated with remote workers; used by those business travellers and as a destination for meetings. More recently though, hotels are attracting - and specifically targeting - remote workers and digital nomads. Although initially driven by Covid, the longer term numbers are incredible. With an estimated 1.2 billion remote workers globally (10% of which are fully digitally nomadic) it’s calculated that the fully mobile digital nomad population will be 120 million post pandemic. That translates into 44 billon hotel nights used by Digital Nomads a year.

“Hotels are well-placed to adapt to the growing remote working trend, which has been vastly accelerated by COVID. “The boundaries between the spaces we use to live and work are getting evermore blurred and in the future, we’ll see hotels looking to increase their appeal among local workers and digital nomads.” Jessica Jahns. Head of Hotels & Hospitality Research, EMEA, JLL. [7]

 

Working From Hotel and Workcations are particularly attractive to the world’s 2.4 billion Millennials, as 47% want to work remotely [1]. This is driven by the fact that employees in their 20s and mid-30s value meaningful experiences more than possessions, and they want to be able to pay attention to all the important aspects of their lives. [8] Coupled with the fact that 19% of remote workers suffer from loneliness and 22% struggle to unplug after work [9] it’s not surprising that the opportunity to work from hotels is proving very popular amongst this audience.

While many hotel brands, at every end of the spectrum, are offering remote working packages, very few are as tuned-in to the long term opportunity as Selina. Since launching in 2014, they have fully understood and invested in the importance of fulfilling remote worker needs.

Each of their 105 location has state of the art technical facilities to optimise the working environment and an entertainment programme - including everything from dawn surfing lessons to rainforest expeditions and volcano hikes – to help even the most battle hardened office worker find their Zen and strike the perfect work life balance.

To expand their stay, live, work, explore philosophy even further, Selina were the first to introduce a guest subscription model - Selina Nomad Passport and Selina CoLive – that allow subscribers to live and work at any of their 105 locations across the globe for a monthly fee (with options for every budget). Selina predict that 50% of their future revenue will come from their subscription model, which is not at all surprising given the latest trends.

Change for the better

Whist the Covid pandemic has been economically and emotionally devastating world-wide, perhaps there is one small positive. Where you work, how you work and when you work has changed forever and hopefully changed for the better!

[1] https://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics

[2] https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/non-standard-employment/WCMS_743755/lang--en/index.htm

[3] https://www.bcg.com/publications/2020/remote-work-works-so-where-do-we-go-from-here

[4] https://assets.regus.com/pdfs/iwg-workplace-survey/iwg-workplace-survey-2019.pdf

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/sep/24/cbi-reports-strong-sales-of-furniture-diy-goods-and-groceries

[6] https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/06/wayfair-shares-surge-37percent-as-coronavirus-drives-sales-of-office-furniture.html

[7] https://www.jll.co.uk/en/trends-and-insights/cities/can-hotels-cement-their-place-in-the-new-remote-working-culture

[8] https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/a-look-at-the-state-of-remote-work-all-over-the-world-and-what-it-means-for-the-future

[9] https://buffer.com/state-of-remote-work-2019

 

 

 

 

Other blogs you might like

  • Subject:
    • Insight

Croydon, A Centre For Growth?

Croydon is London’s southern-most borough, covering an area of 87 square kilometres. But it has come a long way since being mentioned in the 1086 Doomsday Book as a market town with a population of 365, a church and a mill.

Read more

Want to find out more?

Join our investor community for access to the latest information on our investment opportunities.