‘Homeworking set to more than double after pandemic’

A new survey shows that employers are preparing for greater homeworking in the future as experts call for them to do more to support remote working.

Working at home

 

Employers expect that the proportion of people working from home on a regular basis once the crisis is over will increase to 37% compared to 18% before the pandemic, according to a new survey.

Employers also expect the proportion of staff who work from home all the time to rise to 22% post pandemic compared to 9% before lockdown measures started to be imposed.

The survey of 1,046 employers by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development also shows that, overall, employers believe people working from home are as productive as other workers, with 28% of employers believing the increase in homeworking has increased productivity or efficiency, compared to 28% of organisations that report the opposite effect and 37% that don’t believe there has been any effect on productivity or efficiency.

Organisations reported that during the lockdown the average proportion of the workforce working from home continuously was 54%.

The CIPD is calling for the right to request flexible working should become a day-one right for all employees, rather than after 26-weeks as currently required.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, said: “The pandemic is going to have a long-lasting effect on how we work, with a step change in the proportion of people who work from home on a much more regular basis. This will disrupt some existing patterns of economic activity, for example ,spending by office workers in town and city centres is likely to drop substantially over the long term and we will see a further shift to online retail.

“However, the advantages will be considerable for employers and workers. Organisations will be able to hire people from a much wider geographic area and reduced time and money spent on commuting will take pressure off our transport infrastructure and boost spending in local communities.”

He called on employers to improve how they manage and support people who work from home more regularly and to increase the range and uptake of other forms of flexible working so those people who are not able to work from home can work flexibly wherever possible in different ways.

The CIPD’s survey also found:

  • 44% of employers said that they are putting in place additional measures or spend to support home working. Of these, 66% plan to change their policies to reflect the move to more home working and 46% plan more line management training in managing and supporting home workers
  • 33% of employers plan to introduce new forms of flexible working or try and increase the uptake of existing flexible working arrangements, including working from home on a regular basis (70%), always working from home (45%), part-time hours (40%), flexi-time (39%), term-time working (16%) and compressed hours.


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