May 11, 2020
Only 9% of Britons want life to return to "normal" after the coronavirus outbreak is over, a survey suggests.
More than half (54%) of 4,343 people who took part in the YouGov poll hope they will make some changes in their own lives and for the country as a whole to learn from the crisis.
In addition, new working patterns prompted by COVID-19 could cause employees to permanently reduce time spent in the office, as nearly half (45 percent) of Brits predict a permanent change to their employers’ approach to flexible working when lockdown lifts.
O2 Business’ new report – entitled The Flexible Future of Work, conducted in partnership with ICM and YouGov – claims that employees will be reluctant to give up their new way of working after lockdown. Nearly half the workforce think flexible working will increase, with a third (33 percent) of this group expecting to increase the amount they work from home by at least three days a week after lockdown, and 81 percent expecting to work at least one day a week from home.
So, what could this mean for you as an employer? Whilst we are still very much in the midst of the lockdown at present, it is clear from the recent updates that there are possible relaxations to the new regime due to hit as soon as Monday.
It is probably worth while starting to look at those potential changes now, and checking your policies around flexible working, as no doubt some of those reasons for declining a request in the past will now be harder to justify if staff are working from home, and being productive.
Here are some tips to consider in the meantime, to get you prepared:
- Have a strategy on which roles can continue to operate from home, and apply a consistent approach to avoid potential perceived discrimination from staff if you let some have it and others not
- revisit your minimum manning figures if you have them, if your business has had to adapt to decrease or increase of work during the crisis
- avoid making snap decisions- we are not out of the woods yet; consider temporary arrangements rather than permanent changes to terms, so they can be amended later if necessary- people are more likely to be flexible if you speak to them and give them the options
- see this as an opportunity, not a threat to revisit your working patterns and make it work for you as a business
- work life balance, and mental health is fast becoming the most attractive trait ahead of salary when talent are considering new opportunities
- it could open up the talent pool for new roles, if you are able to attract people from outside the usual geographical reach, if they have an element of working from home in their working week.
- don’t force people to work from home- post lockdown- although the role is able to be done from home, not everyone enjoys or feels able to work from home permanently
For more information and guidance on terms and conditions, making changes, or flexible working, please get in touch on 08000 93 00 94 or by filling out our short enquiry form.