A flexible future: Brits expected to call time on office life after lockdown

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O2 Business’ new report – entitled The Flexible Future of Work, conducted in partnership with ICM and YouGov, is an interesting insight into the future of working life post-Coronavirus.

This follows on from our article: Remote working – planning for the future

New working patterns prompted by COVID-19 could cause employees to permanently reduce time spent in the office, as nearly half (45%) of Brits predict a permanent change to their employers’ approach to flexible working when lockdown lifts.

‘The Flexible Future of Work’ 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 (33%) 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.

If flexible working becomes more widely adopted, 63% of Brits would be willing to live up to an hour away from the office (double the amount that currently do so) – giving employees greater flexibility about where they live and work, increasing competition for businesses to attract talent

Whilst once perceived as a bonus, flexible working is now considered the most important workplace benefit, aside from salary, employees consider when taking a new role.

However, Brits are still adjusting, and the lack of social interaction remains the biggest challenge – with 30% admitting it’s lonely working from home and 26% missing socialising informally with colleagues

Here is a summary of the key stats from the report:

  • 45% of the UK workforce predict a permanent change to their company’s approach to flexible working after lockdown
  • 81% of those predicting a change are expecting to work at least one day a week from home after lockdown
  • 33% of them are expecting to increase the amount they work from home by at least three days a week after lockdown
  • 62% of UK employees live within 30 minutes of their workplace
  • 63% of Brits would be willing to live up to an hour away from the office if flexible working becomes more widely adopted
  • 41% of city dwellers would move out to more rural locations
  • More than twice as many city workers would move to seaside towns, up from 7% currently to 16%
  • 30% admitted that it’s lonely working from home
  • 26% said that they are missing socialising informally with colleagues
  • Before lockdown, 46% of all employees believed that they had spent time and money attending meeting that could have been conducted online

You can read the full report entitled The Flexible Future of Work, conducted by o2 business in partnership with ICM and YouGov here: news.o2.co.uk/press-release/a-flexible-future-brits-expected-to-call-time-on-office-life-after-lockdown

All credit for research and statistics goes to o2 Business, ICM and YouGov