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ONS survey: home working here to stay after Covid

Most people plan to continue hybrid working, according to data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN)

Most people in the UK who took up home working during the pandemic plan to both work from home and in the workplace in the future, according to data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Workers were asked about their future plans in February 2022, after government guidance to work from home when possible was lifted in England and Scotland. More than 8 in 10 workers (84%) who had to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic said they planned to hybrid work going forward.

Since then, the proportion of workers hybrid working has risen from 13% in early February 2022 to 24% in May 2022. The percentage working exclusively from home has fallen from 22% to 14% in the same period.

In February 2022, the most common hybrid working pattern that workers planned to use was working mostly from home, and sometimes from their usual place of work. 42% reported this, which is an increase from 30% in April 2021. Meanwhile, the proportion who planned to split their time equally between work and home, or work mostly from their place of work and occasionally from home, has fallen.

The proportion who planned to return to their place of work permanently fell from 11% in April 2021 to 8% in February 2022.

“These findings confirm that hybrid working is rapidly becoming expected from the UK workforce,” said Paul Clark, senior VP, EMEA at Poly. “Organisations will need to cater to this demand or risk losing talent to competitors. Research shows that over half (56%) of organisations say that if they don’t sort out their hybrid work plans, they’ll lose staff and be unable to attract new recruits. This is particularly true as the ‘Great Resignation’ impacts organisations across all industries, in fact half (55%) of employers fear the that combined with the skills shortage, it could put them out of business. Ultimately, providing a flexible work environment, where people have the tools and support needed to be productive, will give organisations the best chance of success in a competitive market. The ones that don’t will see their top talent walking out the door and risk being put out of business.”

You can download the ONS data for UK future working plans here.