“When we return to normal” is a phrase which has been heard often in recent months.
But the reality is that many of us are ever likely to return to a truly normal world.
The past year and a half has shown us that working from home is a viable option for many white-collar employees. It’s actually bizarre to think that only 6% of people had ever worked from home prior to 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Moving forward, many companies have already announced plans to shift to a permanent home working structure, or at least offer it as an option to employees.
This has implications for managing the workspace, with offices across the country either downsized or shut down altogether.
Flexible working has always been an attractive recruitment proposition. Research shows that flexible working can increase productivity by 13% and reduces sick days by 52%.
There’s no doubt that working from home can help maintain a healthy work-life balance.
However, it seems that not everyone wants to work from home. At least, not all of the time.
Not For Everyone
A recent survey by Microsoft showed two-thirds of homeworkers said they “craved” more person-to-person time with their colleagues. More than a third believed their employers were “asking too much of them” because they were working from home.
Goldman Sachs CEO, David Solomon goes as far as to describe working from home as an “aberration that we’re going to correct as soon as possible”. Alongside Goldman Sachs, Amazon has said it’s planning to return to an “office-centric culture as our baseline”.
However, the ideal for many workers is a hybrid option – working from home and spending time with colleagues in the office.
For those involved in managing business energy, home working creates challenges. How do we ensure the most efficient use of resources when it’s hard to plan for our office capacity?
This is where technology can provide solutions. More sophisticated Energy Management Systems linked to real-time submetering can monitor and adapt energy use to occupancy, thus reducing unnecessary use of light, heat, ventilation and equipment power. This is where solutions like ClearVUE. PRO can help businesses monitor their energy use in real-time.
It’s also possible to have your energy managed remotely with energy data optimised on your behalf. For example, the team at ClearVUE. Lite has helped to save one major high street retailer more than 35% on their energy consumption across all their sites by detecting anomalies which would have otherwise been missed.
As the UK’s energy mix changes in favour of more low-carbon and diverse generation, there are also opportunities to participate in power network balancing services, either via on-site generation or demand side response initiatives.
Finally, with a growing number of employees now off site, have you considered that staff home energy use may fall within your business’s Scope 3 emissions? This creates a business case to start sharing effective energy management practices among all your employees.
Get started today. Go to ngpltd.co.uk.