Homeworking Likely Will Stay – Even After Pandemic Ends: UK Investigation


Working from home is likely to remain after the pandemic is over, according to a survey of 2,000 UK companies, most of which plan to give employees more flexibility as to where and when to work.

CIPD, the professional group for human resources personnel, said two-thirds of companies are developing a hybrid work model where people spend only part of the time in the office. About 71% of employers said having staff at home increased productivity or made little difference.

The findings add to the debate over what the workplace will look like once the UK drops its demand for people to do their work from home if they can. After previous lockdowns, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has been aggressive in pushing for a return to power. Since then, the habit of working from home has become more entrenched, with many saying they want more flexibility.

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“The pandemic has shown that previously impossible ways of working are in fact possible,” Claire McCartney, senior policy adviser for resources and inclusion at CIPD said Thursday.

The future of office work will have a big impact on how the economy rebounds after the biggest recession in three centuries, as downtown stores and restaurants, along with thousands of jobs, depend on people. who go to the office. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has said some of the homework will continue. Another member of the bank’s monetary policy committee, Jonathan Haskel, says that only media and tech workers keep productivity out of the office.

The Treasury Committee in Parliament announced Thursday that it will open an investigation into how the government can boost the productivity of the economy and limit the scars on the workforce from the pandemic. He is also investigating whether the BOE has the right tools to help with the recovery.

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A separate survey by the flexible work platform Indeed Flex showed workers were stepping up their job searches, anticipating the lockdown ended for the two weeks through March 12.

While there was a 98% increase in those looking for work as bar staff, a third of those using the platform changed careers out of hospitality and into industrial management or business. facilities. The search for “picker” jobs working in warehouses and preparing items for shipment more than doubled.

“COVID-19 has put the brakes on the UK job market and left many people wondering where to turn,” said Jack Beaman, CEO of Indeed Flex.

The CIPD study was based on interviews with 32 senior managers and two separate surveys of senior decision-makers and employees in December and January. He also found:

  • Part-time hours, including working four days a week or less, are now used by 19% of workers, although 28% want this flexibility
  • One-third of employers say working from home boosted productivity, up from 28% in June
  • The proportion of employers who said working from home made people less productive rose from 28% to 23%.
  • Almost half of employers plan to make working hours more flexible, allowing for changes to start and end times
  • On March 26, online job postings were 96% of their average before the pandemic, the Bureau of National Statistics said in a separate report.
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– With the help of Andrew Atkinson.

Photograph: A woman works on a desktop computer alongside an Apple Inc. laptop computer in a home office in this arranged photograph taken in Bern, Switzerland. Photo credit: Stefan Wermuth / Bloomberg.


Copyright 2021 Bloomberg.

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