New study suggests the office commute could become a thing of the past

New study suggests the office commute could become a thing of the past

Working from home could be good for the environment, as well as boosting employee productivity, according to a recent study by Cartridge People. 

Pre-lockdown 29% of people were already working from home but the survey results showed that a third (32%) of UK office workers now plan to make a permanent switch.This could also have a real impact on the drive for the UK to become Carbon Neutral by 2050 (according to ‘Transport Statistics for Great Britain’ in 2019 alone 68% of workers made their commute by car with an average travel to work time of 29 minutes).

The data, collated by Cartridge People from a survey of 1,481 UK workers between June 2nd and June 18th, found that for the majority of people, working from home had been a positive experience with 54% say they’re happier, compared to 18% who prefer to be in a traditional office environment.

In the past, remote working could be viewed as problematic for those who suffer from loneliness. However, the advances in technology and changes to the way meetings can be held could be the reason why 58% say they never feel lonely when working from home. That being said, the report did find that 14% often felt lonely and this will be a concern for workers who may have heard rumours of their business becoming fully remote working once lockdown is over.

The other main findings were:

  • 50% admit to getting more work done when using a home office
  • When WFH, 42% feel they have a good work-life balance. 24% say it can help them work around friends and family with 40% admitting it gives them more flexibility with their time
  • 58% say they never feel lonely when working from home, 14% say they often feel lonely when WFH and just 1% always feel lonely when they’re WFH

Furthermore, only 13% confessed to feeling easily distracted when working from home. The added flexibility of remote working is highlighted by the 22% of people who work outside of office hours. In fact, only 38% keep to the 9am-5pm traditional routine of office life.

Commenting on the findings, Claire Conlaund, Managing Director at The Skills Network , said: “The research clearly shows that staff can find some real value in working from home, especially around their time management and self-worth. When restrictions ease, businesses should speak to their staff and discuss how potentially introducing more flexible working arrangements could benefit them, from both a wellbeing and productivity point of view (extending these benefits post-lockdown). “Businesses need to keep a close eye on the wellbeing of those staff working remotely, and really level up their approach to line management, mental health awareness and staff resilience.”

The study also revealed that just 1% actually disliked homeworking, again maybe a number that is small due to the relative ease in which office workers can now switch to a remote location. 60% say they’re actually enjoying WFH at the moment.

The full report which contains further statistics along with additional comments, can be found here.

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