On National Work from Home Day (15 May), organisations are being encouraged to use the ongoing lockdown restrictions to consider the benefits widespread home working could bring in the long term.
With many people continuing to work from home, Work Wise, a campaign group that encourages firms to adopt “smarter” working practices, said the current workplace closures are an opportunity to promote change and modernise the way we work.
It claimed that two to three days’ homeworking per week could free up the equivalent of an entire working day in productivity; reduce emissions and congestion as fewer people would need to commute or travel to meetings; reduce stress associated with long commutes; and allow employees to spend more time with their family and friends.
Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, said: “As we come out of this pandemic, there is a huge opportunity to make fundamental changes to the way we work and the way we live. Government, employers and unions should work together on ways to extend the positive aspects of homeworking beyond the pandemic to more working people.
“In the longer term, these new ways of working should be designed into our new communities. Every major development plan around Britain, such as the new garden communities, should be designed to aid homeworking and home delivery instead of focusing on the motor car and shopping destinations.”
A recent survey commissioned by collaboration platform Wire found that 53% of businesses had seen unchanged or increased productivity since lockdown restrictions forced employees to work from home.
Morten Brøgger, Wire CEO, said: “The past several months have demonstrated that even without any preparation at all, companies can maintain and even increase productivity while working from anywhere.”
However, a study commissioned by Visier last month found that almost half of workers expect a return to limited flexible working once the coronavirus lockdown ends. This was despite 68% stating they felt either more or equally as productive while working from home.