Last reviewed 18 February 2022

The Institute of Directors (IoD) surveyed almost 700 business leaders in January 2022 and found that the great majority (79%) plan to adopt remote working in the long-term.

The research found that over a quarter (27%) of directors expect their organisations to be fully flexible, with the use of remote working being down to the individual staff member, and a further 39% intend to shift towards one to four days of remote working per week.

An additional 13% reported their organisation moving entirely to remote working, while just 16% are not planning to introduce any form of working away from the office.

However, the IoD also found that business leaders were split on whether working from home was more or less productive. While 43% said it was more productive, nearly a third (31%) felt it was less productive for their organisation.

IoD Senior Policy Adviser, Alex Hall-Chen, said: “It is clear that businesses are embracing remote and hybrid working beyond the pandemic. Remote working can be a powerful tool in improving employees’ work/life balance and job satisfaction, which contributes to a more engaged and productive workforce. It can also give employers access to a wider and more diverse talent pool, something particularly valuable in today’s competitive labour market.”

However, she continued, different businesses have different needs, and companies will work closely with their employees to find the best solutions.

The IoD also noted that women have found remote working more productive than men. The net positive (percentage finding remote working more productive, minus the percentage less productive) for women is +42, compared to just +7 for men.

Comment by Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula

Many employers are keen to embrace remote or hybrid working to afford their staff a better work-life balance whilst saving on costly office space expenses.

Similarly, employees are reducing their outgoings on commuting and appreciating having employers who support their lifestyles and person circumstances. With more employees working from home than ever before, it’s important employers take steps to ensure their workplace is safe and comfortable.

Remote-based workers should be afforded the same opportunities and attention as staff working on-site. As such, employers should have clear communication channels in place, so they can engage with their remote workforce as easily as people in the office.