Three in 10 employees have seen an increase in staff working from home over the past 12 months, Acas has said as it publishes its draft flexible working code of practice.
Despite the recent push from employers including law firm Slaughter and May and Nationwide to get more employees working in offices, a YouGov survey of 1,088 adults for Acas found that 20% had seen a slight increase in home working in their organisation since January 2023, while 10% have experienced a significant increase.
Only 13% reported a decrease in home working over the past 12 months.
The shift towards home and hybrid working meant that 20% of employees had seen a change to their organisation’s home working policies over the past 12 months due to a reduction in physical workspace.
Flexible working requests code of practice
The survey results were revealed following the publication of Acas’ draft code of practice on requests for flexible working, ahead of the new right to request working from day one of employment that takes effect in April 2024. Home working is a type of flexible working.
The draft code of practice, which is yet to receive parliamentary approval, outlines how a statutory flexible working request should be made and what employers should consider when handling a flexible working request.
It also spells out how employers should communicate their decision about a request and how any appeals should be handled.
Acas’s current code of practice on handling flexible working requests remains in place until April.
Acas chief executive Susan Clews said: “There has been a global shift to flexible working following the pandemic and it is clear from our poll that there’s a continued appetite among staff and employers.
“Some businesses have benefitted by reducing office costs as well as attracting the best talent. Staff can find flexible working valuable to better balance their working lives.
“Home or hybrid working are just some examples of an array of flexible working arrangements that are available. Our new draft code encourages employers to take a positive approach to flexible working and covers the new law changes.”