working from home

74% of Businesses To Intensify Work From Home Set-up

UNITED KINGDOM – A great number of companies or 74 percent of those surveyed here plan to ramp up their work from home arrangement, according to a research, reported BBC on Monday (5 October).

This was one of the key findings of a poll carried out by the Institute of Directors (IoD) – the country’s oldest business lobby group – in September 2020 on 958 company directors, who mainly work for small businesses.

Moreover, over 50 percent of the respondents said their businesses will reduce their long-term use of workplaces, and more than 20 percent said their use of office space or their workplace would be “significantly lower”.

Among those who plan to trim down their office usage, over 40 percent said the main reason for doing so is that telecommuting has proven to be more effective than their prior work arrangement.

The study’s findings worry office landlords and property executives, with managers telling the Financial Times that they are looking to reduce their office footprint at the next lease break or when their agreements expire.

“Looking ahead, it seems more and more companies will take a blended approach to where they work. Any transition can cause challenges, and the government should look to ease this,” IoD said.

In addition, about 33 percent of those surveyed revealed they are letting people working from home due to a possible resurgence in COVID-19 infections and the implementation of more restrictions. A similar percentage of respondents cited worries over public transportation.

The good news for office lessors is that businesses are unlikely to switch fully to working from home as there are still perks of working at the office.

“The benefits of the office haven’t gone away. For many companies, bringing teams together in person proves more productive and enjoyable. Shared workspace often provides employees the opportunity for informal development and networking that is so crucial, particularly early on in a career,” said IoD’s Director of policy Roger Barker.

In addition, the business lobby group warned that escalating the work from home arrangement could raise legal questions over the obligation of companies to their employees outside of the office.

The research follows a BBC poll in August that showed 50 of the largest employers in the UK had zero plans to bring their staff back to the office to work full-time over the near future.
Businesses across the UK have been compelled to let their workers telecommute in the past 6 months due to COVID-19 regulations, and the government imposed new restrictions in September as it U-turned on its back-to-office drive.

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