By not commuting employees say they are doing an extra month of work a year and also gaining the equivalent of 25 extra days of annual leave a year
- WFH:Almost nine out of ten (87%) office workers say they now want the ability to work from home
- Not the death of the office:only a quarter of workers (26%) want to work from home full-time
- Mental health: (22%) said the lack of social interaction when working from home had negatively affected their mental health.
- Rise of hybrid working:74% want to go back into the office, but just 5% want to work only from the office
- Uncertainty prevails:Lessthan a quarter of workers (23%) say their employer has confirmed they can work from their preferred location
Businesses are gaining the equivalent of an extra 21* working days a year from employees putting in longer shifts when they work from home, according to new research from Atlas Cloud.
The research reveals that by working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic, instead of commuting to an office, employees are saving an average of 84 minutes per day.
Office workers say they are splitting this additional time almost evenly, by spending an average of 38 minutes extra on work per day and also gaining an additional 46 minutes per day leisure time.
As the average month comprises of 21 working days, businesses would on average gain almost an entire month’s worth of additional work per employee if home working was to be extended.
Meanwhile, by working from home employees would gain back the equivalent of 25.7 days of annual leave – more than doubling the minimum amount of annual leave (not counting bank holidays) staff are legally entitled to each year.
Several major national and international businesses have announced that their staff can work from home until at least 2021 including NatWest, Google, and Amazon.
Around nine in ten people (87%) say they want the ability to work at least a day a week from home.
However, crucially the survey of more than 2,500 office workers by the IT managed service provider, Atlas Cloud, shows that workers do not want to see the death of their office.
Not the death of the office but the birth of hybrid working
Only a quarter of office workers (26%) say they want to work from home full-time.
More than four months on from the start of Britain’s lockdown more than a fifth of employees (22%) said the lack of social interaction they experienced while working from home had affected their mental health.
Almost three-quarters of people (74%) want to return to the office, but just 5% want to work only from the office.
By implementing flexible, hybrid working policies (a mixture of office-based and remote working), businesses gain from additional working hours and meet their employees need for social interaction.
The results indicate that for every day of homeworking they offer businesses can gain an additional four working days every year, per employee.
Meanwhile, employees also benefit from even more additional leisure time.
Almost half of respondents (49%) said they had used their additional leisure time to catch-up on sleep, with 46% saying they had used it to spend more time with family, and 43% using it to do more exercise.
However, employees currently face a huge amount of uncertainty about the future of their workplace.
Currently less than a quarter of workers (23%) say their employer has confirmed they can work from their preferred location.
The provision of remote working is also becoming increasingly important for organisations looking to recruit top talent.
The ability to work remotely is now a preference for almost half (49%) of jobseekers, a rise of almost 50 percentage points from before the lockdown when it was judged to be important by 32% of workers.
This shift in the priorities of Britain’s workforce means that many companies now have to re-think their office-centric approach to work. Of those that didn’t work from home prior to lockdown, 58% said this was due to restrictive company policies.
If extrapolated to Britain’s entire workforce these survey results show that more than 13 million people (around 25% of the nation’s workers) have worked from home throughout the Coronavirus lockdown.
Almost nine in ten office workers (88%) said the coronavirus crisis has proven that they can work effectively from home an increase of eight percentage points since Atlas Cloud last asked the question one month into Britain’s lockdown.
Pete Watson, CEO of Atlas Cloud, said: “The pandemic has transformed the way we think about the workplace, but it is by no means the death of the traditional office – it is the birth of hybrid-working.
“Working from home can be a win-win for employees and employers as the lack of commuting gives people more time to spend working and more leisure time.
“However, working only from home is isolating for the vast majority of people and unsustainable in the long-term. People miss face-to-face social interaction.
“This research clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of people want to return to the office in some capacity, but more often than not this is to pursue a hybrid working model where they can work more flexibly. Companies need to think about how to achieve this, particularly when it comes to implementing digital transformation, if they want to avoid being left behind as the country moves into this new phase of hybrid working.
“Instead of enforcing strict policies to work from home or from the office, employers need to build agility and flexibility into their policies, enabling hybrid-working in order to boost efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction, as well as attracting and retaining the best talent.
“One of the few bright spots of the coronavirus is that it has shown we can build a better way of working which will help to create better businesses, a better society and ultimately better lives for ourselves, our colleagues and our families. We now have a golden opportunity to embrace flexible and agile hybrid-working to create a better work-life balance for millions of people.”
About the survey
The research findings are based on a survey of 2,533 randomly selected respondents, consisting of UK employees over the age of 17 that had worked from home during the Coronavirus lockdown. The margin of sampling error is +/- 2 percentage points, giving a confidence level of 95%. Where scaling/ranking were not used, all responses were randomised to minimise bias.
*The calculation of equivalent working days is based on a full-time employee doing an additional 38 minutes work in a 7-hour working day (not including lunch hours), for five days a week, during a 47-week working year.