Employers claims that certain roles can only be fulfilled from the office may themselves be made redundant with almost half (45%) of British office workers believing that the pandemic will result in a ‘permanent change’ to their employers approach to flexible working.
O2s ‘The Flexible Future of Work’ report, conducted by the telecoms giant in partnership with ICM and YouGov, found that 81% of respondents who anticipate a change are expecting to be able to work at least one day a week from home, with 33% aiming to increase their home working by at least three days a week after lockdown.
These potential changes to the work/life balance could also have a knock-on effect for geographical popularity. The poll showed that nearly half of city dwellers (41%) would consider a move to more rural locations and 63% of Brits would be willing to live up to an hour away from their workplace if the need to physically attend the office was reduced.
If the geography factor in recruiting is reduced, then competition to attract and retain staff could intensify post lockdown.
The findings of the report were released just days before Twitter announced that all its employees will be allowed to work at home ‘forever’.
“If our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen” said Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey.
Dr Heejung Chung, Reader in Sociology and Social Policy Director at the University of Kent, who is currently researching the impact of flexible working, said: “The UK has a huge challenge with the geographic distribution of wealth, and this exaggerates the problem of overpopulation in cities. If people could work from wherever they want to, without any fear of career penalty, this would create a huge opportunity for everyone.”
Natasha Newby, Head of Proposition Development commented “At Corinthian we have always understood the need, and indeed always have had members of our team that use, agile working. We know that this is important to support the business, our client’s business needs and of course to support our team and their home commitments. Lockdown has just highlighted the efficiency of flexible working.”