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WFH in the South West is going well three years on

  • by JW

“There is little sign that the popularity of such jobs is waning” [Digital Journal]

From work-hubs to home schooling to online consultations.


Life has been incredibly hard over the last three years for many of us in the South West – whether it’s been work or school, accessing health care or other disruptions to lifestyle and ways of living.

Nevertheless, there have been many in these parts who have taken advantage of the ‘new normal’.

Working from home is being enabled with libraries and other places offering ‘co-working spaces’, as reported last month:

Work hubs across Devon invited their local business communities into their coworking spaces to meet and network with other like-minded business leaders, freelancers, self-employed people and hybrid workers: Devon Work Hubs Celebrate International Networking Week – News

There are teenagers who prefer studying from home, with some thriving: 

When asked if there is anything she misses about school, Erin took a long pause and said: “My friends – but I still get to see them anyway.” My life as Exeter home-schooled teen and why I’ll never go back to class – Devon Live

More GPs are offering online consultations – sometimes from miles away:

“At Rudgwick Medical Centre, our priority is to provide the best possible care to our patients in a variety of ways that suit our patients’ needs and preferences. Face-to-face appointments with GPs are only one part of the large range of services we offer our patients, as some prefer to have an online or phone appointment to fit around other arrangements.” GP ‘working from home’ in Cornwall – over 250 miles from her surgery – Cornwall Live

Nationally, WFH is getting so embedded that employees are not keen to return to ‘normal’:

Ngaire Moyes, LinkedIn’s country manager for the UK, said many workers did not want life to return to how it was before Covid. “We know that flexibility brings all sorts of benefits – including being a huge motivator for employees – meaning it’s crucial for employers to consider this when it comes to attracting top talent,” she said.More than a third of UK workers ‘would quit if told to return to office full-time’ | Working from home | The Guardian

In fact, the appetite for WFH seems to be increasing – three years on – as this piece from today shows:

Since the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a continuation with remote work practices and many, who were required to work for periods at home, are keen to continue to do so. In addition, signs are that the younger generation are keen to have the flexibility between on-site and off-site work build into their contracts. This is certainly the case in the U.K. here Google searches for ‘remote jobs’ and ‘work from home jobs’ hit their highest ever level during March 2023. Three years on from the pandemic, there is little sign that the popularity of such jobs is waning. This is despite signs that some politicians and businesses are increasingly eager to see workers back in offices. Major increase in remote working patterns – Digital Journal

So, what can businesses do to make WFH work well?

Here’s a handy general ‘expainer’ from the Guardian from last month:

What lessons can recent research teach us about how to make flexible arrangements work better? What have the past three years taught us about hybrid working? | Working from home | The Guardian

Here are some handy resources from the Virtual HQ website:

Fostering high-performing remote teams isn’t as simple as nudging them out of the office and hoping they can grind out results from their living rooms. There are key things companies need to do to set their teams up for success... Fostering High-Performing Remote Teams – Virtual Headquarters

And here the S1 Job agency offers some handy hints on finding that WFH position:

What happens if you don’t have a remote job yet? What is remote job hunting like? How do virtual interviews and onboarding work? And can you really be more productive working from home? A Guide To Remote Job Searching & Onboarding – s1jobs