Time to make Space for work?

If there is one thing that lockdown has shown us it is the incredible effectiveness of home working. At one stage in the past year, it was estimated that 60% of the UK workforce worked from home. The results in terms of productivity saw a rise of 13% which boosted businesses’ output and demonstrates the value of flexible working.

So what about the future? Two-thirds of workers said they had a preference for continuing to work at least some part of their week at home. However, one in 5 home workers reported struggles with loneliness.

We’ve got a couple of ways in which we think you can make the best of hybrid-working:

1 – Create a newly defined workspace in your home with a loft conversion, renovation or purpose-built garden building.

2- Create a new calming, bright space to keep you motivated. Add great quality and high-speed broadband to keep you connected to your co-workers and clients.

So what about the space itself?

As discussions by companies continue to develop in relation to home working, organisations such as the CIPD are working to support companies and staff. We chose a few key points that can help make the right space for your needs.

Review your home working environment. Make sure you are comfortable. How is your posture? What are the light levels like? Do you have the ability to manage calls without too much noise interruption? Is your workspace away from the busy parts of the house? Your employer may have a scheme to provide funds to help you with your set-up. If you want to know more about permitted development then get in touch and we can discuss your options for extending or building a garden room.

Confirm your employee rights. Homeworkers must be treated the same as office-based staff, with equal access to development and promotion opportunities. In the current context, it may be that you are notified that working location practices are temporary. Request clear guidance on what the long term policy is for with hybrid working or a full return to office-based working.

Confirm contact methods and regularity. Ensure that you have clear advice as a homeworker to establish when and how you will have contact with your manager. Don’t be afraid to ask about reporting in or huddles to help combat isolation and stress.

Providing equipment. There is no obligation for employers to provide computers or other equipment necessary for working at home, although, given the latest Government advice, employers should do what they can to enable home working. It makes sense that your company provides you with the right tools for you to complete your work activities.

IT and Broadband. Employers should confirm in the contractual arrangements if the employee is expected to cover the broadband cost (plus heating and lighting) or if the employer will contribute towards these costs and, if so, to what extent. The employer should also confirm any IT support (likely to be remote at this time) and responsibility for repair or replacement if the employee’s equipment is used.

Think about health and safety obligations. Employers are responsible for an employee’s health, safety and welfare, even when working from home. Employers need to make sure that homeworkers are knowledgeable about health and safety and that they comply with the organisation’s health and safety policy. Employers may remind staff that they should ensure a suitable and safe environment where they can focus on work.

Carry out a risk assessment. Employers should usually conduct risk assessments of all the work activities carried out by employees working from home. However, at this time undertaking physical risk assessments of each employee’s home will not be feasible and so employers could use electronic risk assessment questions instead. It is the employee’s responsibility to address any flaws in the home revealed by the assessment. The Health and Safety legislation also puts some responsibility on the home worker to ensure that they and members of the household are not endangered by work activities undertaken at home.

Review working time and length of period.  There may be more flexibility over working hours in a work from home arrangement, but working time regulations should still be complied with, including the working week and daily rest break. Having an open discussion about working hours could really benefit your own well being as well as increase productivity.

Clarify salary, benefits, insurance, tax. Salary and benefits should obviously remain the same during a period of homeworking, although changes to expenses may be appropriate if normal travel expenses and allowances are no longer needed. Usually, it is the employee’s responsibility to check that no issues arise with their mortgage provider, landlord, local authority, Revenue or their home insurer when homeworking. In this unprecedented situation, it is hoped that any issues, for example, increases in house insurance premiums, would be minimal but it is prudent for employees to check. Employers also need to check that insurance covers business equipment in the homeworker’s premises.

We’d love to hear from you if you are considering making a change at home to create a  home office. Call us on 01293 481060 and let us know your ideas.

26% of Brits plan to continue to work from home permanently or occasionally after lockdown.

Source: https://www.finder.com/uk/working-from-home-statistics
Analysis conducted by finder.com/uk

26% of Brits plan to continue to work from home permanently or occasionally after lockdown.

Source: https://www.finder.com/uk/working-from-home-statistics
Analysis conducted by finder.com/uk

Garden Building Features

Hover over the hotspots on the image below to see more about what goes into our Garden Buildings.

garden building
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Walls

Exterior cladding is usually Western Red Cedar.

 

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Structure

Floor, walls and the roof are constructed using structurally insulated panels.

 

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Windows & Doors

Double glazing is provided as standard with a set of French doors.

 

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Roof

Single ply rubber provides protection from the elements for 25 years and is a black finish.

 

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Internal

Laminate flooring, skirting boards and we’ll ensure you have enough lights and electricity points

 

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Foundation

Heavy duty concrete pile foundations which lift the studio off the ground