Half of workforce believe employer will remove remote working after coronavirus

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Almost half (47%) of workers believe their employer will ditch widespread remote working once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

This is according to new research from Visier which analyses employee attitudes during coronavirus measures switched thousands of workers to remote working.

This contrasts the 70% of workers (68%) who said they feel more productive or equally productive working from home.

This is all the more impressive given workers are also having to deal with unique challenges of working in a pressurised environment due to handling childcare, homeschooling and caring for elderly family members.

Jan Schwarz, co-founder of Visier, said: “COVID-19 has prompted the world’s biggest home working experiment. It has rapidly sped up the future of work, and will impact the way we think about work in the years to come. The worst thing that companies can do is ignore what they have learned about their workforce and how they like to operate.”

Seventy-five per cent said their manager trusts them to be productive with just 31% of employers having developed new processes to check up on their output.

Only 9% said their employer had handled their roll out of remote working poorly.

Scwarz added: “It reflects positively on the UK’s HR industry that workers think companies who are new to remote working have handled a tough situation so well. These companies have had to transform themselves overnight and tackle major cultural and technological obstacles. They deserve real credit for their adaptability under real pressure.”

Yet an IES interim survey found workers were already suffering from health issues due to the switch to remote working, with 20% of respondents drinking more alcohol and over half (60%) admitting they have exercised less.

Visier surveyed 1,003 UK workers who are usually not allowed to work remotely or who only did so rarely (no more than once a week) prior to COVID-19.

The research took place from 3 April - 7 April 2020.

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