Find out how UK office workers feel about the recent change to mandatory homeworking.
In April 2020, statistics released by the UK's Office for National Statistics showed 49.2% of adults in employment were working from home, because of the social distancing measures introduced in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. With these mandatory measures in place, almost half of the UK workforce found themselves working from home. So, how is everyone feeling about this enormous change? We surveyed 250 office-based workers, with an impressive 20% response rate. Here are our findings - we would love to hear what you think of the results.
Where do you prefer to work?
Unsurprisingly, most of us Brits prefer working from home than going to work every day, with 54% favouring working from the comfort of their own home. Perhaps the bigger surprise is that there were not more people preferring home to the regular office environment.
Have you got your own workspace at home?
A massive 92% said, “Yes” they do have their own designated workspace at home – thank you IKEA! And we’re great at taking regular breaks (75%) with only 25% of us glued to our screens most of the day. Perhaps that is due to the call of the fridge, the washing machine or the children in the house?
What is the biggest distraction when working from home?
We Brits just love food, don’t we? A third of the survey respondents reported that food and drink is the biggest distraction. This is followed by household chores - perhaps some people are catching up on a bit of DIY while they are at home -and children coming in a close third.
UK Office workers prove to be very conscientious workers.
Despite all this distraction, according to our survey, 41% of UK workers said they worked 7 hours or more, when working from home. With none of our respondents putting in fewer than 3 hours a day. (“What even when the sun is shining?!”)
What does the future hold?
With the current pandemic and government guidelines, it looks like many of us may have to continue to work from home for some time, so how do we feel about this?
“I love working from home”
Most of us somewhat agree (41%), strongly agree (23%) or completely agree (16%) with this statement, with somewhat disagree (18%) being in the minority.
Most employees strongly agree that their company or organisation is dealing with the pandemic well.
We asked: “Taking into consideration communication, pay and remote working, to what extent do you agree with this statement? 'Our company/organisation is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic really well." On the whole, most people agreed with this statement - most strongly agreed (43%), followed by completely agreed (37%).
What is the best thing about working from home?
By far the best thing that most of us (51%) love about working from home is not having to do the daily commute. For the past couple of months, we haven’t had to dash about dropping off the kids, getting on the tube, rushing from one appointment to the next. Perhaps, this slower, more relaxed pace of life is one we should all try and implement for the long term?
Being able to manage our own time (25%) and being more focused (9%), were also very popular reasons for preferring homeworking.
We’re a tight-knit bunch
We saw a wide range of responses when people were asked: “What is the worst thing about working from home?” But one thing lots of people agreed on was missing their colleagues (31%).
It seems, even with the multitude of video conferencing options at our fingertips, many of us still miss that face-to-face interaction.
What is the perfect work-life balance?
Homeworking can offer many business benefits, for example:
- Reduced office costs
- Increased staff retention
- Environmental benefits
- Higher morale
- Wider talent pool
So how would our staff feel if homeworking became the “new normal” and they were given the option to choose how much time they spent working from home or at the office?
Over a third of people surveyed (35%) would like to work from home ¾ of the time, only having to go into the office for the other ¼. Only 12% of respondents would like to return to 100% working in the office.
Summary: What does our homeworking survey tell us?
It seems that, overall, most of our staff have adjusted well to this new way of working. We are happy with how our employers are dealing with this unprecedented change. We have got ourselves set up to work from home and despite the many distractions working from home presents, we remain diligent and hardworking, putting in a good 7 or more hours work a day. Being given the choice of how much time is spent working from home or in the office, most of us favour more time at home. We are enjoying not having to commute, having more control over the way we work, and we are feeling more focused and productive as a result.
Are you surprised by these results or does this confirm what you were already thinking?
What are the pros and cons of homeworking for your business?
Could you see your business moving to more homeworking for the longer term?
Are you interested in hearing about the potential cost savings your business could make by making the move to homeworking a more permanent arrangement?