Nearly half of UK workers want to make the move to home working permanent, a poll has found, with cost savings cited as being more important than extra flexibility.
The survey of 3,000 professionals, conducted by RADA Business, found 45 per cent were either very or extremely interested in making remote working a permanent feature post pandemic, with younger workers particularly in favour of the change.
More than three in five (61 per cent) 16-to-24-year-olds and half (51 per cent) of 25-to-34-year-olds polled said they wanted some form of home working to continue permanently – although just 9 per cent said they wanted to continue working from home full time.
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In comparison, those aged between 35 to 44 were most likely to say they wanted to continue working from home full time, with nearly one in five (18 per cent) saying they were interested in fully home working.
Across the board – including those who did not want to see home working made a permanent feature – four in five (80 per cent) said they would like to keep the ability to occasionally work from home, while just one in five (20 per cent) workers said they would be reluctant to see the end of permanent office-based roles.
Charlie Walker-Wise, tutor and services director at RADA Business, said it was clear that there were numerous benefits to working from home.
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Businesses have already had to change the way they communicate with their workforce to mitigate the loss of face to face, Walker-Wise added. “As long as we adjust to this setting effectively and adapt our communication styles, then we can still successfully work with others both virtually or in-person.
“The next challenge will be navigating hybrid working, partly from home and partly from the office, and supporting employees to find the right communication method and style for different settings.”
Respondents said they preferred working from home because it allowed them to save time (58 per cent), save money (54 per cent) and because it was more flexible (50 per cent).
Other benefits cited by respondents included the ability to spend more time with their family (42 per cent), while 35 per cent said that they were better rested, 25 per cent had healthier habits, and 20 per cent felt more productive.
In the three months from March 2020, at the start of the first national lockdown, 68 per cent of those polled who were able to work from home were working from home, including 41 per cent who were working from home on a full-time basis.