In the past few years, more and more people have started working from home rather than at the office, in fact, it is estimated that 3.7 million employees – which equates to 2.8 percent of the workforce – were working from home in 2017. This despite the worries that many employers had that working from home would allow employees to slack off.
Actually, that’s not true and numerous studies have shown remote workers to be more productive than their peers in the office, which is perhaps why more and more business owners are looking at the prospect more kindly, especially because they have taken the time to Google “What is document management software?” and explore other options such as cloud storage and communication apps like Slack, which make it really easy to allow employees to work from home and keep an eye on them as they do so.
They may, however, be too late to the party, and they might soon have to get their heads around a whole new way of working entirely because many experts believe that working from home will soon be pushed aside by a new trend of working from the car.
Now that we are well and truly in an automated age, and we have all manner of gadgets including driverless vehicles, it is only a matter of time before more people start using their travel time to work from their vehicles and it is up to business owners everywhere to work out the implications of this.
In some ways, this will have a positive impact because employees will be able to do some of their work on the commute to the office, or if they are already working from home, they will be able to complete work as they travel to other appointments for example, but as analysts have pointed out, this will lead to questions about pay.
If employees are working from the comfort of their car, should they still be paid? They are working after all, so paid travel time would not seem unreasonable.
Some unions and activists in the UK have already been pushing for commuters who work on the train or who are expected to answer emails out of work hours should be paid for their time and the EU agrees, and although there is huge resistance to this, many do not think that it is such an unreasonable thing to ask for. In fact, in France, they have banned employers from being able to contact employees outside of working hours in many cases.
Then, there is the issue of insurance to think about. If employees are technically working as they travel on the roads, who is liable should they be in an accident – them or their employer?
These are issues that definitely need to be ironed out before working from the car becomes widespread, but all signs point to that happening at some point in the near future, so it is a good time to start thinking about it and that is exactly what more business owners and analysts are starting to do.