Homework “helped me build my career”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak told LinkedIn News this week that he doubted he would have done as well if he had started his professional life virtually.
Mr. Sunak, who has worked in finance including banking giant Goldman Sachs, said he always talks to his early mentors.
Many young people want to work from home three days a week or more after the pandemic, research from Nationwide and Ipsos Mori found in March.
However, they’re also more likely to say that working from home puts them under pressure – and that they feel they need more face-to-face time with co-workers to do their jobs effectively.
As people begin to return to the office, many companies and industry groups have said they will take a cautious approach to getting staff back into the workplace.
The BBC spoke to two young people to get their thoughts on working from home.
“My career took off while working from home”
Rachel Rowlands, 30, has her own book publishing business.
She suffered from anxiety and other health issues, which made it difficult to enter the workforce. But she decided to work from home and start her own business four years ago.
She says working from home has helped her build her career.
When she started her business, she struggled with lifelong health issues.
âI have always found it difficult to be at work,â she says. “I couldn’t get the flexibility I needed.”
She had temporary jobs, but when she left college, she couldn’t find a place that offered the opportunity to work from home.
âPeople who have faced health issues did not have this flexibility before Covid,â she says.
“Chancellor says working from home can hurt your career, but it helps people like me build careers.”
She has a history of panic attacks, so she would have a hard time using public transport during rush hour.
âI used to have trouble getting to work,â she says. “It’s a big reason I wanted to work from home.”
She adds that when you have mental health issues, office environments sometimes just aren’t compatible with it.
She always wanted to get into book publishing and got into it through freelance work.
âI think the main thing I would say is that you don’t always have to fit into the mold that society expects of you,â she says. “Sometimes that just doesn’t work for people. Not everyone is cut out to meet what people expect.”
âTry new things,â she adds. “Try things that work for you.”
“The social aspect of being in an office is a key part of the job”
Ed Heap is a 24-year account director at Bristol-based communications agency We Are Plaster.
He had only held the post four months before the first lockdown last year.
âInitially, the lockdown was new,â says Ed.
âI was starting to learn about Zoom and other new technologies and had a bit of fun with it. But I live with three other people and we all worked from home in our bedrooms.â
âAfter two months you wake up every day and the first thing you see is your office was pretty miserable,â he says.
As soon as he had the opportunity to return to the office, he jumped at the chance.
Ed was largely alone for several months until several of his co-workers returned. He says it’s great to have other people around him again.
âThe social aspect of being in an office is a key part of the job, and something that pissed me off during the lockdown was when people gleefully talked about how much more productive they were at home, because that for me it is not the goal, all and in the end.
âIt’s the people you meet, the skills you learn, and it’s also the social time you have there,â he adds.
Ed says he appreciates having more experienced people around the office to learn.
âIt was essential. I can walk past them and ask questions. Having someone sitting across from you who was in your shoes when they started. It’s more natural to speak in person, rather than have to send a Zoom invite to a meeting, âhe says.
“I was also able to help some of our newer newbies and mentor them as well, so it works both ways.”
Ed says there are mixed opinions about working from home within his friendship group. He adds that he couldn’t really imagine a telecommuting position until his career was firmly anchored in the future.
“I don’t think that in the next five to 10 years I will be able to see the benefits of working entirely remotely myself, although I like the idea of âânot being tied to London and Bristol rents and the cost of living in some cities, âhe said. said.