Most employers cite improved staff wellbeing as their top consideration in making homeworking a permanent fixture, according to official data.
When asked by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) why they plan to embrace homeworking permanently in future, 80% of employers said improved staff wellbeing was the main reason.
This was followed by reduced overheads and increased productivity – both just under 50%. Almost three in 10 pointed to reduced sickness levels.
And it appears employers have been matching their sentiments with action.
A quarter of businesses (24%) stated they intended to use increased homeworking going forward, with the information and communication industry recording the highest proportion (49%).
And online job adverts including terms related to homeworking have increased at a faster rate than total adverts, with homeworking adverts in May 2021 three times above their February 2020 average.
The research also showed the proportion of working adults who did any work from home in 2020 increased to 37% on average from 27% in 2019 with workers living in London the most likely to work from home.
When asked about homeworking, working adults cited work-life balance as the greatest positive, while challenges around collaborating with colleagues were seen as the greatest negative.
Of working adults currently homeworking, 85% wanted to use a “hybrid” approach of both home and office working in future, but 32% of businesses said they were not sure what proportion of the workforce will be working from their usual place of work.