Survey suggests workers may be reluctant to give up homeworking

A new report from 02 suggests many workers will be reluctant to give up at least some homeworking after lockdown.

Working at home, with flexible working


Forty-five per cent of workers predict a permanent change to their employers’ approach to flexible working when lockdown lifts, according to a new survey.

O2 Business’ new report, The Flexible Future of Work, conducted in partnership with ICM and YouGov – found that employees will be reluctant to give up their new way of working after lockdown. Nearly half the workforce think flexible working will increase, with a third of this group expecting to increase the amount they work from home by at least three days a week after lockdown and 81% expecting to work at least one day a week from home.

Nevertheless, 30% of over 2,000 people surveyed by ICM admitted that working from home can be lonely, while 26% miss informal socialising with colleagues.

Increased homeworking could have an impact on talent attraction, says the report. It states that, currently, two-thirds of employees (62%) live within 30 minutes of their workplace. However, according to ICM, if working from home was easier and more common this figure would reduce by half (to 36%) and instead two-thirds (63%) of workers would be willing to live up to an hour away from their workplace. 02 says this suggests that competition to attract and retain staff could intensify post-lockdown, as businesses compete with a wider range of employers from across the country.

The O2 report draws on another survey of over 4,500 people by YouGov which shows that if workers had the ability to work more flexibly 41% of city dwellers would move out to other locations, with seaside towns like Margate likely to be popular.

The report says this redistribution could allow skilled people from more disadvantaged areas to access job opportunities that weren’t previously available to them.

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