The COVID-19 pandemic has established many challenges for the UK economy. In fact, the BBC reported back in June that 600,000 people were made redundant as the economy significantly contracted, with more expected in the coming months.
While most of the impacts of COVID-19 have been negative, there has been unexpected progress made with regard to the shift in work-life balance.
Several recent studies have shown this in action after Dale Office Interiors revealed that 71% of UK businesses were planning to introduce long-term, flexible working hours.
Meanwhile, top staffing agency Hales Jobs found that 33.7% of businesses, when surveyed for the “Life After Lockdown” study, would be willing to allow working from home on a permanent basis.
However, while offices will still be necessary for face-to-face-meetings, inter-team collaboration, social interaction and for those who prefer a more structured working day, statistics are showing that up to 56% of businesses, in an attempt to reduce overheads, are either planning to downsize or scrap the office altogether, as more workers take up the option to work remotely.
Allowing staff to work remotely benefits not only the individual but also the business too. The Dale Office Interior study reports that 62% claimed that the increased flexibility had helped their focus, and 55% reported that their productivity had increased when working away from the office.
Figures are also suggesting that remote working will remain in place even after social distancing rules have been relaxed, with only 24% wishing to return to the office full-time and 35% reporting that they’d prefer a more flexible arrangement, in which working remotely is an option some of the time.