The new era of
flexible working

Our research paper looks to the future

Recent events have put the flexible working agenda into fast-forward. Many companies have rolled out large scale remote working policies – in a matter of weeks.

In the UK, one week before lockdown was brought into effect, our flexible working research paper was in its data collection phase. 2,000 people gave their views on the future of flexible working.

We were then able to continue collecting responses during the first week of lockdown. We asked people what they hoped might change and what impact could COVID-19 have on the world of business?

Opinion is divided

Not for the first time, we’ve found that opinion is roughly split in two. Almost half expect this pandemic to have a long-term impact on the way we work, whereas a slim majority believe that business will return to normal.
Opinion is divided

Flexibility is premium

Before the pandemic began, the option for flexible working was the most important consideration for any new worker – apart from salary. Many hope this flexibility will bring them a better work-life balance, making them happier at work and more productive.
Flexibility is premium

People want more open space

The countryside is calling. Most people feel that being near to a city has been important for job opportunities – this is particularly true for the younger members of the workforce – but 63% would happily live more than an hour away from the office, if flexible working became more common.
People want more open space

Commuting becomes redundant

People want to use their working hours efficiently and reduce their impact on the environment. Now that we have the option for flexible working, we could see an end to the daily rush-hour and gridlocked traffic.
Commuting becomes redundant

Last call for business trips

Under normal circumstances, 1 in 5 workers in the UK were taking a domestic business trip once a week. Almost half the people surveyed believed these meetings could have been as productive if they were held virtually. Combining flexible working with increased environmental concern could spell the end for business trips.
Last call for business trips

Environmental awareness pays off

More than three quarters of people consider environmental awareness to be a key factor when looking for a new job. Among Generation Z workers, this is even more significant. If business trips were reduced by 10%, each business would start saving more than £500 per person, each year.
Environmental awareness pays off

Fast-forward the flexible
working agenda

As businesses begin adapting to this new way of working, you might be wondering what’s next. Are there some changes you’d like to keep? And when the government restrictions on movement have been lifted, what will normal look like?

We asked 2,000 UK workers how they thought the COVID-19 pandemic would change the way we work. This infographic pulls together opinions with facts to start exploring what flexible working could look like in the future.

DOWNLOAD INFOGRAPHIC

What happens next?

Almost overnight, the country was shut down, and 87% of office workers found themselves working from home. Almost in a heartbeat, work became totally dependant on technology and mobile connectivity.

But what about once things start to calm down? Will your people look for a shift in the way you do things? What does the workplace of the future look like?

Find out in our latest blog post.

Read the blog