Wellbeing for flexible workers
For many employees flexible working arrangements are a dream come true. However, a change of scene can have some serious repercussions for our health.
Looking for a more flexible approach to your job? You’re certainly not alone. Last month a pan-European study of 11,000 working adults by ADP found one in three would like an entirely flexible working pattern.
And earlier this year a Robert Half survey of 200 senior HR professionals showed that remote working in the UK has increased by more than a third over the last three years. Nearly two-thirds (60%) of the HR directors surveyed believe greater autonomy over working practices results in increased productivity.
More businesses are realising the productivity and health and wellbeing benefits of allowing employees to work where and when best suits them. David Shields, head of diversity and inclusion at law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, provides a neat example of how allowing staff to work from home can be a win-win set-up: “There’s one guy who normally has a two-hour commute so he uses one hour of that to get more work done and one hour to see his children. That seems fair to me.”
And yet flexible and remote working are not without their health and wellbeing dangers – pitfalls that the HR community is only just getting to grips with now, say those in the know.
So what are the potential dangers, and how can they be mitigated?
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