Last reviewed 30 April 2021
Deloitte has surveyed over 1240 UK workers aged between 16 and 75 and, in UK workers: a year in the pandemic, reveals attitudes towards future working habits and confidence in digital skills.
It estimates that 7.5 million workers in the UK are hoping to do their jobs from home permanently following the easing of restrictions, up from 3.6 million who were permanently based from home pre-lockdown.
While 42% of workers are hoping to do their jobs from home twice a week or more, however, the survey also found that 37% of under-35s working from home feel “overwhelmed” by technology and 29% say they do not feel confident using technology within their roles.
Anne-Marie Malley, UK consulting leader at Deloitte, said: “It is concerning that a significant number of younger workers are struggling while working from home. This generation are the digital natives, but their skills shouldn’t be taken for granted”.
Will Gosling, human capital consulting leader at Deloitte, said: “Lockdown has opened workers’ eyes to the benefits of working from home, with many relishing the lack of commute and flexible working day”.
However, he went on, this is certainly not the end for the UK’s workplaces.
Many companies will invest in revamping their spaces in the coming months to encourage teams to work creatively and collaboratively when they do venture into their workplace, Deloitte predicts.
“Desks will be replaced with meeting rooms and training spaces, creating a vibrant hub for collaboration and skills training,” Mr Gosling said.
He also highlighted that the downsides to working from home were identified by the survey, with 39% saying it is hard to stay motivated, while 34% find it difficult to maintain a work life balance and 33% feel isolated or lonely.
Comment by Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula
Some employers will likely welcome change towards more permanent homeworking arrangements as more eligible employees begin to request flexibility when the homeworking guidance is relaxed.
However, others who may struggle to see its long-term benefits may argue against it. Ultimately, the power is in employers’ hands as the Government has so far not made the standardisation of homeworking a legal requirement.