A recent study has revealed how employers may have to brace themselves for fundamental changes in where people choose to work after so many have been forced to work from home in recent months.
The study revealed that once lockdown restrictions are fully lifted, 32% of UK workers will look to work from home on a daily basis. This comes after lockdown forced so many office workers to make the switch to remote working to combat the spread of COVID-19. Only 18% now prefer the traditional office environment and this could mean a significant change for employers who may become inundated with requests to carry on homeworking.
According to the study carried out by Cartridge People in June, only 13% confessed to feeling easily distracted when working from home. The added flexibility of remote working is highlighted by the 22% of people who work outside of office hours. In fact, only 38% keep to the 9am-5pm traditional routine of office life.
In the past, remote working could be viewed as problematic for those who suffer from loneliness. However, the advances in technology and changes to the way meetings can be held could be the reason why 58% say they never feel lonely when working from home. That being said, the report did find that 14% often felt lonely and this will be a concern for workers who may have heard rumours of their business becoming fully remote working once lockdown is over.
Commenting on the findings, Claire Conlaund, Managing Director at The Skills Network, said: “The research clearly shows that staff can find some real value in working from home, especially around their time management and self-worth. When restrictions ease, businesses should speak to their staff and discuss how potentially introducing more flexible working arrangements could benefit them, from both a wellbeing and productivity point of view (extending these benefits post-lockdown).
“Businesses need to keep a close eye on the wellbeing of those staff working remotely, and really level up their approach to line management, mental health awareness and staff resilience.”
The study also revealed that just 1% actually disliked homeworking, again maybe a number that is small due to the relative ease in which office workers can now switch to a remote location. 60% say they’re actually enjoying WFH at the moment.
“Cartridge People’s ‘Small Office Home Office Report’ has uncovered how the traditional UK office may be a thing of the past following the COVID-19 pandemic. With such a huge shift to homeworking during lockdown, it’s clear to see that many are starting to view this as the new norm and businesses may need to prepare themselves for employees looking for more flexibility in working from home. This may include covering extra costs such as printing at home where people will no longer have the traditional office machine to rely upon. It will be interesting in the months ahead to see how habits change and whether the ‘remote office’ replaces that office that so many of us have become accustomed to over the years,” commented John Flanagan, Managing Director, Cartridge People.