Who’d have thought a year ago, that a pair of slippers could become part of the essential kit, alongside laptops and mobile phones, for working at home effectively?
Well, clearly a lot of employees have come to that conclusion, having ditched their formal work footwear in favour of the humble pair of slippers, as John Lewis reported that slipper sales have surged during lockdown with demand being ‘overwhelming’. Teams and Zoom calls might capture what people wear from the waist up, but so far as what goes on under the desk – that’s a private matter, and if your feet feel comfy in a pair of slippers, that’s probably a good start to being able to focus on your work.
But it’s not a new phenomenon, as history indicates that slippers have always been important. Just recently, a pair of Sir Winston Churchill’s velvet slippers sold at auctioned for just under £40,000 – imagine the important decisions he may have made whilst wearing those slippers, pacing around his study and puffing his cigar!
Working remotely is established now and the general consensus is that although we may once again return to the office this summer, it’s probable that longer term, a ‘blended’ working pattern will be favoured – part office-based and part home-based. A recent survey* found that fewer than one in five employees want to go back to working in the office five days a week and 55% of people favour the hybrid or blended working approach. Even part-time season tickets for rail travel may at last be available on reasonable terms!
If employers haven’t yet done so already, now is the time to review the various terms of the contract of employment – not just the written T&Cs such as where an employee is officially based and working hours, but also the supporting policies, which clarify expectations for everyone’s benefit – if these haven’t been reviewed and don’t reflect updated approaches to working, then they’ll rightly be ignored by employees.
At QSUK, we’ve been giving all these considerations much thought, and we’ve prepared a checklist, guidance and policies for employers, which includes aspects such as reviewing working hours and availability of employees, introducing revised ways to assess productivity, and considering the requirements for: equipment and technical support, internal communication, health and safety, wellbeing of staff, security, GDPR and confidentiality.
To request a free copy of the checklist, just email email@example.com – alternatively call me on 07780 663923 and I’ll be able to pad around in my slippers whilst I talk to you!
*Survey by Survation, as cited in The i newspaper