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A new survey shows that workers who have saved time spent on commuting during the pandemic have put in more hours at work AND got more free time.
By working from home during the coronavirus pandemic instead of commuting to an office, employees are saving an average of 84 minutes per day, according to a new study, with workers spending an average of 38 minutes extra on work per day and gaining an additional 46 minutes per day leisure time.
Atlas Cloud, which conducted the survey, says businesses would on average gain almost an entire month’s worth of additional work per employee if home working was to be extended for a year and that employees would gain back the equivalent of 25.7 days of annual leave – more than doubling the minimum amount of annual leave (not counting bank holidays) staff are legally entitled to each year. It calculates that for every day of homeworking they offer businesses can gain an additional four working days every year, per employee.
Nevertheless, the survey shows only a quarter of office workers say they want to work from home full time, with more than a fifth saying the lack of social interaction they experienced while working from home had affected their mental health. Almost three-quarters of people want the ability to regularly work both from the office and from home.
Almost half of respondents said they had used their additional leisure time to catch up on sleep, with 46% saying they had used it to spend more time with family and 43% using it to do more exercise.
The ability to work remotely is now a preference for almost half (49%) of jobseekers a rise of almost 50 percentage points from before the lockdown when it was judged to be important by 32% of workers. Of those employees who didn’t work from home prior to lockdown, 58% said this was due to restrictive company policies.
Less than a quarter of workers say their employer has confirmed where they will work long-term, although 88% said the coronavirus crisis has proven that they can work effectively from home. Almost two thirds of employees said their companies invested in new or updated technology to help enable digital transformation since the start of lockdown.
Pete Watson, CEO of Atlas Cloud, said: “This research clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of people want to return to the office in some capacity, but to pursue a hybrid working model where they can work more flexibly. Companies need to think about how to achieve this, particularly when it comes to implementing digital transformation, if they want to avoid being left behind as the country moves into this new phase of hybrid working.”