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Employees Expecting Permanently More Flexible Working

24.09.2020, 14:55

Employees Expecting Permanently More Flexible Working

Findings from a survey of 189 formerly exclusively office-based workers suggest employees expect new levels of flexibility in working arrangements in the post COVID-19 environment.


Conducted this month by UK-based office software solutions company, Smartway2, the survey found the percentage of employees who wish to continue working from home outnumbered those wishing to return to the office full-time by three to one.

39 per cent of participants indicated they would prefer to work from home for a majority of the time, 21 per cent from the office for a majority of the time, and 32 per cent by splitting their time between both locations – with 2 days in the office being selected as the most popular option. 

Catering for such a range of preferences is already creating confusion with employers, trade unions and office space managers who are already grappling with complex new requirements including social distancing, implementing deep clearing regimes, and operating company track and trace services.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has criticised the UK government for sending conflicting messages to employers by recently advising employees to work at home using the slogan, ‘if you can’, at a time when thousands of businesses have followed previously introduced rules requiring them to adapt to new COVID-Clear office procedures.

Steve Vatidis, Executive Chairman of Smartway2 says: “Businesses are now realising they need to manage the return to the office for those who want to and can do it, but they are not equipped to cope with so many changes across the whole workforce. This is irrespective of daily changing trends or government guidance. It is now imperative for businesses to address the choices of employees to make them feel in control.

“Even prior to the recent Government announcements, office-based employers faced a hard task persuading nervous workers to return to a safe working environment. Employees are demanding unprecedented levels of autonomy in where and when they work. Such flexibility, which is vital to economic recovery, can only be provided with digital office and deskspace management.”

CAMFIL HVAC Filtration Solutions

Staff Reporter covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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