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Next: Working from home means staff miss out on the camaraderie

City AM logo City AM 17/09/2020 14:00:00 Angharad Carrick
a person standing in front of a television © Provided by City AM

Staff working from home miss out on spontaneous conversations and the camaraderie of the office, retailer Next has said.

The retailer said the pandemic had been "expensive and miserable" for everyone. But it conceded that there had been some good to come from it, particularly in communications, efficiency and employee job satisfaction.

Read more: Two City professional bodies to share Walkie Talkie office space in home working drive

Like other non-essential retailers, Next was forced to close at the start of lockdown, with warehouses and call centres rendered almost unusable as a result of social distancing restrictions.

Next said eliminating some of the distractions that come with the office had allowed some solitary tasks, such as systems coding and product design, to become more "focussed and effective".

"The experience of having to work from home has opened our eyes to new and better ways of working, collaborating and communicating amongst ourselves and with our suppliers", the retailer added.

However, Next bemoaned the "lack of spontaneous conversations" between employees, along with the "training and camaraderie that the office provides."

Video calls had proved to be "unwieldy, frustrating and inefficient" and had encouraged the proliferation of "death by deck: slideshow presentations that transform meetings from productive exchanges of ideas into boring, one-way lectures".

The retailer raised its profit forecast for the second time in two months after reported a strong recovery in online sales.

Total sales in the first half of the year dropped 34 per cent on last year to £1.4bn, while brand full price sales dropped 33 per cent.

Read more: Home working could cost UK economy £15bn a year, PwC warns

Next said going forward it would not impose a one-size-fits-all solution for working from home. "

"Instead, we will allow the balance between working from home and in the office to evolve over time, allowing each functional area (Buying, Design, Systems Development, etc.) to work its way towards the optimum working practices for its particular needs and its particular people".

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The post Next: Working from home means staff miss out on the camaraderie appeared first on CityAM.

17. syyskuuta 2020 17:00:00 Categories: City AM

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