Over the past few months, the U.K., as well as much of the world overall, had been imposed by lockdown measures, hoping to stop the spread of coronavirus, and protect those most vulnerable. As a result of this, many working Brits have had to temporarily leave their offices and work remotely where possible – many even operating from their bedrooms.
As lockdown measures begin to ease and enable non-essential businesses to open back up, many have begun to wonder, will this period of remote working have an impact on the future world of work? And of the many employees who have shown they can work effectively from home, will this change both their employers’ and their own attitudes to going back to the office?
Whilst the past few months may have shown many workforces can operate remotely, with the range of different benefits offices bring, it’s hard to see a world where workspaces won’t exist, or be valued by employees.
One study conducted by Adecco Group UK reflects just that – showing whilst remote working is sure to become a part of this “new normal” as the world recovers from the COVID-19 health crisis, employees still believe that this should be mixed with office-based operations.
The study, titled Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work surveyed 1,000 employees throughout the U.K., in addition to workers in a further 8 different countries. The aim of the study was to gain a better understanding of employees’ thoughts, wants and expectations for their working lives following the global pandemic.
Through the survey, Adecco Group U.K. found that 77% of employees in the U.K. feel a combination of remote and office-based working is the best way to operate post COVID-19. Furthermore, it was also found that 79% of participants believe it’s important for their employers to allow more flexibility throughout their staffs’ work lives.
In addition to this, the U.K. employees surveyed also thought that their own expectations of hybrid-working would not match their employers’ – thinking their company will want them to work in the office for more than two thirds of their time working, whilst they would rather have this split more equally, with 49% at home and 48% in the office.
The President and Country Head of Adecco Group U.K. & I Alex Fleming made the following comments around the topic:
“As lockdown restrictions continue to lift across the U.K., businesses will gradually have to start shifting their focus from purely surviving, to planning how they can thrive in the new era of work. In order to get ahead of the curve, new working norms will need to be established, that are informed by the learnings of organisations from the pandemic experience.”
“This is a unique opportunity for business leaders to hit reset on existing working patterns, and consider what, for instance, the new model of flexible working should look like.”
As businesses begin to slowly emerge out from lockdown, only time will tell the true impacts the past few months of remote working will have had on the working world, and whether companies will integrate hybridised style, or go back to the more traditional, purely office-based model of work.