By Professor Emma Parry, Professor of Human Resource Management

With the lines between staff’s personal and professional lives becoming blurred, working remotely won’t necessarily improve work-life balance, warns Emma Parry.

As coronavirus sweeps the UK we will continue to see increasing numbers of people choosing or being forced to leave their usual office environment and work at home. We have already seen some major companies, such as Google, tell their staff to work from home. While some employees might be pleased at such a turn of events, what does this really mean for wellbeing and morale?

Much of the evidence about home working points to positive benefits, including improved work-life balance and increases in job satisfaction and productivity. However, it is important to note that such evidence is based primarily on studies of individuals who have chosen to work at home. And in many cases they will have collaborated with their employer to ensure this arrangement is effective for both parties. Imagine now the situation where many thousands of individuals are forced to work from home, with little time to consider any adjustments that might be necessary to make this work. There are a number of potential pitfalls of this situation in relation to an employee’s morale.

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