As we approach the point when businesses may no longer be obliged to have employees working from home if possible, many will be considering the ways they intend to use offices and workplaces in future.
With a wealth of HR and recruitment considerations as well as productivity and cost implications, the decision is far from simple, particularly for businesses which are not tied into long-term property contracts or own their properties.
To illustrate the scale of the transformation in working arrangements, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published new information on working from home as part of a quarterly survey of around 80,000 people. This information sheds some light on the extent to which people are working from home, and how this might change as we adapt to life after lockdown.
In 2019, the survey found that just 26.7% of the workforce on average reported that they had worked from home at all during the year, but in April 2020, that increased to 46.6%.
As restrictions eased after the first lockdown, the proportion of people working from home gradually declined, reaching a low point of 27% at the end of August, but this rose again following the reintroduction of restrictions in the autumn. In early February 2021, the proportion had risen to 47%.
The ONS explains that, as the country emerges again from lockdown, it is too soon to say how permanent or widespread these changes will prove to be, with many commentators talking about ‘hybrid’ forms of working in which employees attend a central workplace, but much less often than in the past.
Clearly, the arrangements which are most appropriate for you and your business will depend on many factors, but it’s a decision which should be seriously considered.
Our team of accountants, business advisers, and HR professionals can provide useful advice and guidance in helping you to identify and adapt to the most suitable or preferable working arrangement for your business and employees, contact our team today.