More than three in five (62%) employees would be happy to remain working from home after the pandemic, according to research commissioned by Winckworth Sherwood.

The survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the firm during the 13 weeks of lockdown, included employees and HR decision makers from a range of industry sectors.

The survey revealed that nearly a third (31%) of HR decision-makers intend to close offices or reduce office space capacity.  

The firm carried out a similar survey in January 2020, at which time 72% of HR decision-makers said that offering flexible working was important for the recruitment and retention of employees.

However, at that time nearly two in five (39%) were concerned that flexible working can impact on the ability of employees to carry out their jobs effectively.

Since then that fear among HR decision makers has increased to almost half (46%) and was cited as the biggest barrier to employees working flexibly.

The research carried out in June showed that less than one in five (18%) of employees believe that flexible working would impact on their ability to carry out their job effectively and over a third (36%) felt there was no barriers to them working flexibly.

Although the research showed that both employers and employees intend to have more flexible working in the long-term, it also highlighted the concerns which employees have regarding the possibility of working from home all or most of the time.

A quarter (24%) believe it will have a negative impact on their wellbeing. To help combat this, 26% of employees who can work from home believe that employers could implement wellbeing initiatives.

Winckworth Sherwood employment partner Louise Lawrence said: “For businesses to recruit and retain key talent and remain competitive, they need to listen to their employees and embrace flexible working. As well as looking at home working, 50% of employees who are able to work from home said that they wanted their employer to be flexible around working hours and 25% said that their employer should measure their output rather than time spent.”

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