With the majority of us fortunate enough to be still working doing so from home, we wanted to understand how this seismic shift in our working environment is impacting on our likely future behaviour once restrictions have been eased and going back to our employer’s ‘place of work’ becomes an option again.
To do so, and as part of our continuous tracking into how Covid-19 restrictions are impacting on our daily lives, we surveyed over N=1,000 employees who are currently working full-time or part-time to understand their current behaviour and what their intended future working behaviour will be now that we’ve spent 5 weeks on ‘lock-down’.
Where We're Working
Currently, the majority of those still employed are working from home, with 6 in 10 (60%) doing so at an overall level - comprised of almost half (49%) of all current workers exclusively doing so from home, with a further 11% primarily working from home.
This is a fundamental shift in behaviour! Previously, before restrictions were introduced, just over 8 in 10 (84%) workers were primarily working out of home, with just 9% claiming to have exclusively worked from home.
So, what does this mean for the future?
For many the daily commute is gone, saving valuable time at the start and end of the day and with less distractions, many are finding themselves more productive at home. So, when restrictions start to be lifted, how do workers plan to behave? Are we going to see more working from home, or will workers return to their pre-Covid behaviour, fuelled by a need for a return to routine, familiar surroundings, and interaction outside of their household?
For half (52%) of those who were in employment pre-restrictions, they claim they will have no choice in where they conduct their work and that they will have to work outside of the home when restrictions are lifted.
However, amongst the other half (48%) of workers, the desire to work from home has never been more apparent.
Almost half of this group (46%) claim they will try and work from home more than they did before. Interestingly, this intent to work more from home is even more pronounced amongst those who have young children at home, rising to 57% amongst those who have children aged 3 or under at home - most likely driven by the time saved commuting and being able to spend extra time with their young children.
Overall, these findings confirm the seismic shift in our working environments over the past 5 weeks, but they also present some potential challenges for employers as they adapt to increased expectations of remote working when it comes to communication, collaboration, information security and the health & well-being of their teams.