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

A happier, more effective, more productive workforce?

Find out how to make it a reality. Don’t miss the short video summary of our report, The flexible future of work.

Report highlights: The flexible future of work

Get the headline results from our survey of UK workers to see what they want from their future workplace.

Download infographic

Using flexibility for equality

Dr Heejung Chung, a reader in Social Policy and Sociology, explains how flexible working could create more equal opportunities for women across the UK.

Accelerating existing work trends

Keith Budden discusses how travel will change with flexible working. And outlines how management changes and technology advances will help this way of working.

What will the future of work look like?

Katy Lidell, Director of Business Sales & Service at O2, reflects on how work has changed in recent times and shares the headline results from our latest report, The flexible future of work.

The flexible future of work >

Setting the stage for a new way of working

See how employee demand, advancement in technology and a desire for business efficiency have come together to set the stage for a new era of flexible working.

How flexible working came of age >

Escape to
open spaces

Find out how remote working will provide new opportunities for people living all over the UK, giving us the chance to make more intelligent decisions about where we live and work.

Swap the commute for the countryside >

Employee demand drives the flexible workplace

Read our blog to see the four things that employees want in their workplace. And get advice on how to deliver these for your business.

Four things people want from their workplace >