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Aberdeen charity worker speaks about need for flexible working to continue

An Aberdeen charity worker claims that working from home means he can spend more time with his young family.
An Aberdeen charity worker claims that working from home means he can spend more time with his young family.

An Aberdeen charity worker explained that the flexibility of working from home has been “really welcome” as he has more time to spend with his family.

The Scottish Government are still advising people to continue working from home where possible to reduce transmissions of Covid.

However, as we begin returning to normality, a gradual return to the office in line with staff wellbeing and business needs can also begin.

Research by YouGov found one in four UK businesses intend to allow all workers to work from home at least some of the time.

Meanwhile, just one fifth of bosses say they will require all staff to come in five days a week after the pandemic; the same again said staff could choose whether to come in at all. Two thirds will allow workers to do at least some of their shifts remotely.

Office workers who are socially distanced and wearing protective face coverings.

Flexible working may be good for families

Speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, charity development worker Andrew Reid explained that he is hopeful flexible working will remain in place.

Pre-pandemic, Mr Reid from Aberdeen, was a typical office based Monday to Friday worker.

Now that he works exclusively from home he claims he has more time to spend with his young children.

He said: “I am able to do the nursery drop-offs and pick-ups, and something I never thought I’d be able to say, keep on top of the washing, cooking, and cleaning and things like that which gives us more time at the weekend to do stuff we really want to do.”

Mr Reid believes working from home allows people to manage their time in a way that suits their needs. As long as staff are completing the work needed how and when they do it is up to them.

His organisation have informally moved to a more outcome-focused approach and he believes there’s “a lot more trust” in employees.

The father-of-two said: “I know I’ve got periods of the day when I don’t have the children here, so I can focus and get my work done.

“It also means if the kids are needing attention I can give them that attention knowing I can catch up on my work in the evening or in the morning.

“There’s just much more flexibility, which has been really welcome.”

What about socialising?

Although he misses conversations with people in the office, he said they are all able to keep in touch over Zoom.

The charity worker also explained that he tries to meet people face-to-face for a walk or in a cafe whenever he can.

Mr Reid also recognises that staring in a company while working from home can be difficult, especially for younger people who may live alone.

Smiling colleagues wearing protective face masks bumping elbows in the workplace.

“You’re not going to build those relationships that you can face-to-face,” he said. “I’ve been with the organisation for nearly seven years so there’s definitely that level of establishment.

“I obviously have a wife and two children and have people in and round the house all the time. For someone who’s younger and getting up in their flat on their own and working from home not seeing people, I can see why there’s a push to get them in the office.”

Mr Reid has said that although nothing is formalised the discussion so far is that staff will be able to hybrid work when they can get back to the office.

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