Will Working at Home be the New Normal?

The lockdown may be lifting across the UK, but there are still many questions left behind. One of the biggest questions is whether or not working at home will become the new normal.

Many company directors have been impressed at how well their staff has adjusted to working from home and would be happy to let them stay there, according to Utility Bidders. The company surveyed UK workers and found that 69% of them enjoyed working from home and that bosses were concerned that asking them to come back to the office so suddenly would hamper productivity. Bosses will likely allow people to return to work gradually or stay at home for the foreseeable future.

89% of those surveyed by Utility Bidders say that they are comfortable working from home, saying they were just as – if not more – productive than they were at the office. 43% of people said they had noticeable improvements to their health and wellbeing while working at home, and 39% said their time management skills had improved.

While most people say they didn’t miss the office environment, 62% of people said they missed having their colleagues around, and 45% said they preferred the routine of working in a different location to their home.

The study shows how well people have adjusted to working from home. 76% of respondents said they adjusted fully within a week, with 12% saying it took a couple of weeks. Only 11% of people said working from home was a struggle for them.

That employers stepped up their game and helped employees no doubt helped with the adjustment period. 40% of respondents said that their employers had purchased laptops and other equipment to help them work efficiently. Teams have also shown they can be trusted to work from home and not have it cause a drop in productivity.

Most of the bosses Utility Bidders spoke to said that they understand people may wish to work at home in the future too. These bosses are putting measures in place to allow workers to come back in their own time, with some even putting plans in place that would enable workers to become permanent remote workers.

Some firms lack the space to allow workers to return to the office and maintain social distancing rules. Other businesses are now questioning if they really need as much office space as they thought, given that so many people would happily stay at home and work from there instead.

Utility Bidders expect many companies will reassess how much space they have and how much they need, with some businesses moving to hub-based working. Hub-based working means that employees will work from home most of the time but may have to come to the office for essential meetings and other things.

A shift to hub-based working would be great news for businesses looking to save money after the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. It’s also good news for the workers who said they wanted to stay at home. The epidemic has changed how a lot of things work, and some of the changes – such as working from home – could become permanent fixtures.

Petra Cambell

Petra Cambell

Freelance graphic designer; I've been working from home since I left University 12 years ago.

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