Working from Home Archives - John Burke Associates

Is the Future Hybrid?


‘Hybrid-working’ – A mix of office-based work and working from home/a different location to the office.

At the beginning of the pandemic many companies were unprepared and needed to react quickly to enable staff to work from home. It is expected that as restrictions are lifted, employees who work from home on a regular basis will increase to 37%, compared to 18% pre-Covid-19. A CIPD survey also revealed that 33% of employers plan to introduce a form of hybrid-working in the future.

So How Can You Make Hybrid-working Work?

If you choose a hybrid-style working model for your company, it is important to remain focused on structure. Working from home gives employees more independence and freedom to choose their own working hours. It is therefore crucial that employers focus on work output and delivery rather than simply hours spent in the office. Structure needs to be the priority whilst managing a hybrid workforce. We recommend having set days in the office dedicated to meetings and company collaboration.

Why Return at All?

Working from home has its silver linings; Time and money saved on the commute and spending more time with family and the kids. However, we do think it is important to return to the office in some fashion.

  • It allows staff to interact and socialise with their team in a way that WFH may prevent.
  • Some employees find it difficult to create a home-life/work-life balance whilst WFH.
  • Getting back into the office (even part-time) will create a ‘sense of normality’, which we believe will benefit the wellbeing of staff.


The Take-Home Message

We cannot predict what is going to happen in the future and it’s clear to see that the events of the past 12 months have shaken many industries. Moving forward, we need to focus on how these changes will shape how we all work in the future. Hybrid working has an advantageous environmental impact that many were keen to see for years prior to 2020.

Ultimately, we are optimistic about the future of the office and we are excited to see how companies adapt to this new way of work in years to come.

Boosting staff morale whilst working from home.

Boosting staff morale

The past 12 months has seen a rapid rise in people working from home. According to the Office of National Statistics, as many as 46.6% of those in employment worked at least partly from home in April 2020. With the on-going pandemic it is likely that nearly a year on, such figures will have increased. Therefore, boosting staff morale is paramount to your company’s success during this time. Especially with many employees reportedly feeling disconnected from their workplace, it is now as important as ever to find ways to boost company morale – albeit remotely.


Strong lines of communication create an atmosphere of confidence in the workplace. As such, short, daily meetings and using remote-working technologies will encourage employee trust in the company. As a manager, keep lines of communication open – let your team know they can reach out throughout the workday.

Reward Hard Work

A simple yet overlooked way to boost morale – let your team know if they are doing a good job. Shout-outs in meetings, or personal emails are a great and easy way to reward hard work. Spirits are kept high when hard work is recognised.

Encourage Balance

When working from home, the lines between work-life and home-life can become blurred. Check in with your team; consider discussing a more flexible workday to suit each employee. As a structured workday may not always be ‘one size fits all’.

Virtual Team Building

The idea of team building has been around since the ‘20s – encouraging honest communication, and often forging friendship in the office. There is no need for this to stop whilst working from home. Set time aside in the week to encourage virtual team building activities – a workplace where honest and fun communication is encouraged, results in a happy, productive team.

In Conclusion 

As management, keeping an eye on boosting staff morale is critical – even more so when not, everyone is working at the same location. Keep this advice in mind and watch as you and your team enjoy a happier, more productive working week.

Tips for Those Working from Home

Working from Home

During these ambiguous times, businesses across the UK and Europe are facing extraordinary challenges. The COVID-19 crisis has been a formidable force on our usual way of life, both personally and professionally. Many companies like ourselves (chartered surveyors and building consultants) are fortunate enough to continue to do some work safely from home. However, doing so requires us all to adapt our usual daily routines significantly. Therefore, in this blog, we look to explore tips that may help those also working from home during the crisis.

Balance Work and Personal Time

When your home becomes your work environment its hard not to allow the two to entwine. Working from the comfort of your home often leads to working at times you usually would not. For example, your working day finishes, you are browsing online shopping, and a work-related email comes through. It becomes so easy to just pop on and quickly respond but before you know it you have spent an extra hour or two working.

Therefore, it is important you set times for your working day and your own personal time and do not let the two entwine.

Working from Home
chartered surveyors

Create a Work Environment in Your Home

Having a set area in your home when working, makes it easier to separate your home and work life. It may be tempting to work from the sofa or other places of comfort while at home. However, if you work in the same place you relax, it can become difficult to disassociate from work in your downtime. In addition, having a set working area means other members of your household know you are working. Whilst it is not always possible to not be disturbed, it can reduce the amount of disruption in your day.

Dress for the Day

It is important to have your work mindset in place when working from home. Therefore, keeping your usual morning routine is the best way to focus your mind. Set your alarm for the usual time and make sure you get up, showered, and dressed as if you are going to work. It can also be beneficial to go for a walk in the morning at the time you would usually commute. Almost like you are walking to work, even if it is just around the block.

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Most Importantly, Stay Safe!

Here at John Burke Associates Chartered Surveyors and Building Consultants, we hope everyone stays safe during these times. While the focus is very much on our physical health, it is vital we all take our mental well being into account. If you are struggling during this time, please use the links below for help and advice for managing your mental health.