So in last week’s Friday blog I shared the news item from before Christmas about the decline in shampoo sales – with more women working from home as a key factor. This led me to think ‘what else?’
If shampoo sales have been affected to the tune of £23m in the UK over one year (nb.. not all attributed to flexible working), what will be the next news item?
Razor sales are falling – working from home or the trend for furry faces? But then – could this be women not shaving their legs because they aren’t wearing skirts and hosiery every day?! Razors aren’t particular just to men !
Anyways, I decided to analyse my day and look at which elements could be affected in the broader picture.
Let’s start at the very beginning.. which, according to Julie Andrews – it is a very good place to start*.
Waking up. Apart from setting the alarm a little later than would be required if commuting – am not sure there is any difference there. Although, if we were being pedantic and taking this to the tiniest detail – will our mattresses wear out quicker from that extra 30 mins per day in bed?!
Coffee (the only way to kick start my day!). Personally – I bought a coffee machine to save me keep popping out to coffee shop to top up my caffeine levels – so that has paid for itself already. HOWEVER.. and I have blogged about this previously – what about the social side of remote working? This is where I do pop out for a coffee occasionally – just for some human/social interaction. I don’t spend hours in the coffee shops, complete with laptop, charger, mobile phone charger etc – but some do set up for the day – so surely these establishments are seeing profits rise!? And if you are very savvy (or a little bit miserly) you could make sure that the *incidentals* [see next week’s continuation blog] is at the cost of the coffee house – if you understand what I mean ?!?
Getting ready for work. OK – so we know that shampoo is a casualty here – and I truly believe it is that our hair doesn’t get as dirty because we are at home and NOT because we are getting lackadaisical. I haven’t seen any news about falling soap, deodorant or shower gel sales, but I have seen confirmation in the news that toothpaste sales have not fallen. [cue a news piece about plummeting soap sales just to prove me wrong]. Here we go with the tiny details again…. less hair washing means less hairdryers and styling tongs – and so less electricity being used. This is looking good for us anywhere workers!
Make up. Not entirely female focussed nowadays, but nonetheless they are the majority. With video conferencing so widely available it is generally prudent (should you be a make up wearer) to don a little mascara, because there is always one person on a call that says ‘hey, lets all jump on video’ enthusiastically (usually someone that HAS washed their hair and applied makeup). Makeup isn’t cheap – so there is a cost saving for the worker there, and maybe a tiny little chip away at manufacturing and ultimately damage to the environment.
What to wear. If in the office every day then a wardrobe full of business attire is a good idea, tho I know that this usually comes with a dry cleaning tag! In recent years, dress codes in the office have become more casual – but still – your comfy sweat pants and slippers just won’t go down that well. Working from home, you can get away with jeans and sweats, and, as you aren’t venturing out into rain, snow, mud splashes, pollution, but are staying in your own home, then maybe you can get an extra day out of your jeans! I wonder if laundry detergent manufactures will see a tiny dent? After all, when a LOT of people cut down just a little – then it can really add up.
This is just scratching the surface, and so is to be continued. What I am seeing though is that the impact of utilising technology to enable ‘anywhere working’ is reaching unexpected areas. So far I have covered only a couple of hours of the day and seen more sleep, shifts to coffee houses, toiletries, electricity and detergent. All in small amounts – but multiplied across hundreds of thousands of people – a not insignificant change. Collaboration tools such as Circuit enable change, without loss of productivity – in fact it enhances productivity whilst delivering an improved user experience.
Watch out for next Friday’s blog – where I will continue to dissect my day, taking a look at commuting, location and health/fitness.
To discover more about how remote workers can be enabled, securely and simply, visit www.unify.com
*reference: The Sound of Music