Fewer than 8% of Brits had experience working remotely at the start of 2020.
Within a matter of weeks, this figure rose considerably as businesses scrambled to meet new demands and challenges, with 46.6% of the country’s professional workforce ‘clocking in’ from home across April and May – rising to 57% in London.
This month, the government will be encouraging more and more firms to return to their offices, addressing a very real concern about the economic toll remote working has had on city centres.
High streets up and down the UK are all but empty of foot traffic, meaning that small businesses will continue to struggle to stay in business over the coming months.
Whilst acknowledging the merits of home working, Dame Carolyn comments on the role the UK’s offices play as “vital drivers” of the economy, suggesting that:
"The costs of office closure are becoming clearer by the day. Some of our busiest city centres resemble ghost towns, missing the usual bustle of passing trade.”
Is remote working here to stay?
It’s estimated that those working from home have racked up an extra 28 hours of monthly overtime during lockdown, which adds up to almost four days’ additional work.
The chief reason for this being that 86% feel it’s a necessity to prove their value to their employers and ultimately keep their jobs.
Although remote working has put a strain on the country’s commercial hubs, with employees equally feeling more workload pressure, there’s an evident shift in mindset amongst professional workers towards flexible opportunities.
Of those asked, only 7% would opt to work full time without any element of remote working.
Compared to 93% who would want at least one day a week from home.
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