Who can remember a time when we didn’t work from home? All praise goes to broadband networks across the country, allowing everyone to stay connected and keep businesses running as we all adapt to a new way of working. While we’re saving money on commutes, coffees and lunches, and enjoying time at home with families, with many benefiting from a flexible work schedule and a lunchtime walk to boot.

In fact, some businesses are so pleased with the home working movement, that they are allowing staff to work from home ‘forever’. A move led by boss of social networking platform Twitter, Jack Dorsey. Google and Facebook were quick to follow, extending home working to ‘at least the end of the year’, while in other industries, Barclays bosses have said working from the office in large groups will be a thing of the past and many are following suit.

While not all companies are the same, and perhaps working from home isn’t always possible, it’s certainly food for thought for companies planning for the future, and how business might look from 2021.

It’s certainly true that the workforce is keen to keep working from home as an option when the world returns to a pattern of normality – with a survey of Campaign magazine readers showing that just one in eight workers (12%) would prefer to return to the office full-time, even if their employer could create a safe environment. More than a quarter (28%) would prefer to only go in for occasional meetings, and half would return for certain days each week, perhaps on a rota pattern and reduced team capacity. The expectation from employees is that offices won’t reopen until September/October 2020 and even then, they would envisage a full-time remote working offer to continue beyond October.

Working from home has, for most, been somewhat of a novelty, with 46% of respondents in a survey by Tiger Recruitment saying they had never had the opportunity to work from home before. Employees are benefitting from enjoying the time they saved by not commuting (74%), appreciating the money they are saving (73%) and enjoying the increased flexibility in how they work (52%). More than half of employees hoped that their employer appreciates how working from home can be good for productivity and that they continue to support home working when workforces return to the office. And that could well be true. In the same survey, 86% of employers acknowledged that employees are working productively and 59% say they’ll be more supportive of home working in the future.

How does your future working from home strategy look, and are you consulting your team in making those decisions?

Sources: https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/working-home-forever-going-far/1683613; https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/little-appetite-returning-office-full-time-survey-shows/1684295; https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/workers-reveal-five-priorities-for-employers-post-covid-19

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