What is the future for remote working in 2024?

During the Covid pandemic, working from home became the norm.

Now that the pandemic is behind us, is remote working still an acceptable practice for businesses?

Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, 4.7% of UK employees worked from home.

By April 2020, 46.6% of employees did at least part of their job from home (ONS).

86% of those did so specifically because of the pandemic (ONS).

In 2022, a quarter (25%) of UK employees worked from home at least some of the time (ONS).

13% worked from home all of the time in 2022 (ONS).

According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics) in 2023 (June) working arrangements among UK workers were 10% working from home all the time, 29% working from home some of the time, 39% unable to work from home, and 10% not working from home but had the option.

Among employees the view of remote working was:

 Improved work life balance78%
Fewer distractions53%
Quicker to complete work52%
Improved wellbeing47%
Easier to think of new ideas16%
Easier to work with others12%
Other, please specify11%
No advantages8%
More job opportunities7%

Businesses, meanwhile, cited several reasons for adopting remote working as a permanent model.  They included:

Improved staff wellbeing: 79.9%

Reduced overheads: 49.1%

Increased productivity: 48.3%

Ability to recruit from a wider pool: 34.7%

Reduced sickness levels: 27.3%

Ability to better match jobs with skills: 17.4%

By 2024, 52% of business leaders surveyed believe that hybrid working is the most supportive environment for employee productivity.

Fifty of the UK’s biggest employers have said they have no plans to return all staff to the office full-time or in the near future.

With an increased emphasis on mental health and wellbeing and a change in the law in the UK last April allowing workers to request flexible working arrangements, it looks likely that remote working is here to stay.

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