A new ONS report looks at the impact of remote and hybrid working on employees and finds a rise in hybrid working as remote working falls after Covid with a shift towards spending more time working from home.
Three-quarters of home and hybrid workers report improved work life balance, according to a report by the Office for National Statistics.
The report found that the proportion of workers hybrid working has risen from 13% in early February 2022 to 24% in May 2022 while the percentage working exclusively from home has fallen from 22% to 14% in the same period.
It says that in February, 84% of workers who had to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic said they planned to carry out a mix of working at home and in their place of work in the future and that, while the proportion of workers who planned to hybrid work at all has not changed much since April 2021, people’s hybrid working pattern has shifted more in favour of spending most working hours at home.
In February 2022, the most common hybrid working pattern that workers planned to use was working mostly from home, and sometimes from their usual place of work. 42% reported this, which is an increase from 30% in April 2021. Meanwhile, the proportion who planned to split their time equally between work and home, or work mostly from their place of work and occasionally from home, has fallen.
The proportion who planned to return to their place of work permanently fell from 11% in April 2021 to 8% in February 2022.
The report shows that hybrid and homeworking increases by income bracket. More than a third (38%) of workers earning £40,000 or more hybrid worked between 27th April and 8th May 2022. Workers in this income group were the only ones for whom hybrid working was the most common working pattern. They were also more likely than other income groups to work from home exclusively.
\Workers aged 30 to 49 years were the most likely to report hybrid working between 27th April and 8th May 2022, with 29% reporting doing so. Younger workers aged 16 to 29 years were less likely than those aged 30 years and over to report experiencing fewer distractions when homeworking.
The report looks at the advantages of home or hybrid working. In addition to wellbeing improvements and savings on commuting, half of those questioned reported it was quicker to complete work (52%) and that they had fewer distractions (53%).
The most common disadvantage experienced by homeworkers was difficulty in working with others, with 48% of homeworkers reporting this in February 2022. A little over a quarter also reported more distractions when working from home (26%). Nearly a third (31%) reported no disadvantages at all.
When it comes to employers, the proportion of businesses reporting using or intending to include homeworking as a permanent business model increased slightly from 16% in autumn 2020 to 23% in early April 2022, but this varied significantly by industry.
More than half (54%) of businesses in the information and communication industry said they were using, or intended to use, increased homeworking as part of a permanent business model in early April 2022. This was only the case for 3% of businesses in the accommodation and food services industry and 5% of businesses in the construction industry, which are less adaptable to homeworking.
Industries that saw the largest increases in the proportion of businesses reporting that they use or would be using homeworking as a permanent business model between November 2020 and April 2022 also included education (private sector and higher education businesses only), professional and scientific activities industry and the arts, entertainment and recreation industry.