Clara Rogers
Clara Rogers
Associate Director

Articles From the Team

Flexible working in 2021: what does the future hold?

The COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted the topic of flexible working to the foreground for both employers’ and employees’. 

It has been reported that up to 70% of employees in the UK are now requesting, or planning to ask their employers if they can work remotely and/or flexibly all of, or some of the time. CIPD states in a recent article: 'Flexible working during COVID-19 and beyond' that "before the pandemic, only around 5% of the workforce worked mainly from home."

Working remotely throughout the pandemic has allowed employees to really see the benefit of being home-based, and has made many of us realise how much of our day was taken up travelling to and from work. Many of us have also realised that we can be just as productive working from home. For employers it has also have potentially opened up the opportunity to save on the sizeable overheads associated with large office spaces.

One thing is for sure - the last few months have demonstrated that a large amount of work can in fact be done from home. However, CIPD notes that not everyone has found the shift towards remote working easy. Furthermore, lots of people greatly miss the in-person chats with their colleagues, team social events and the 'buzz' of the office kitchen or break room at lunch.

Some employees have reported finding it difficult to switch off and set boundaries between their work and their non-work activities. In some cases this has been compounded by not having a suitable workspace. - CIPD

Will it work for everyone and every business? No, but it will certainly become more and more popular. There will be a balance that works for everyone, it’s just about finding what works for both employers' and employees'. How do you find the right balance? Have the conversations, be open and upfront. The Government still intends to introduce legislation to support that flexible working be 'default', although there are no time-frames set yet on when this will be released. 

Employers and HR professionals should therefore be prepared for an increase in flexible working requests in the months to come, both as a result of the pandemic and if more information becomes available about legislative changes. - CIPD

Let’s see what 2021 brings…

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