[Times 13/08/2020]. People working from home will do an extra month’s work each year and will gain the equivalent of almost 26 days in time off if they maintain habits developed during the pandemic.
Staff have split the hours previously spent commuting to and from the office almost evenly between work and leisure, according to research.
They have saved an average of 84 minutes each day by working from home and cutting out time otherwise spent on travel.
A study by Atlas Cloud, a technology specialist that helps people to work remotely, found that the average worker had divided the saving between 38 minutes of additional work and 46 minutes on other activities.
With large employers such as Natwest and Google saying that thousands of their staff can work from home for the rest of the year, analysts considered the impact of such trends on a year’s work. The average former commuter would work the equivalent of 21 days extra if they maintained the split of their saved time over a year. They also would gain the equivalent of almost 26 days of time outside work.
Nearly nine out of ten office staff want the ability to work from home in future, but only a quarter want to do so full time, according to the survey.
Remote working “can be a win-win for employees and employers”, Pete Watson, chief executive of Atlas Cloud, said. “The pandemic has transformed the way that Britain’s workers think about the workplace, but it is by no means the death of the traditional office — it is the birth of hybrid working.”
Businesses “need to build agility and flexibility into their policies, enabling flexible working in order to boost efficiency, productivity and employee satisfaction, as well as attracting and retaining the best talent”, he said.
A nationwide shift towards more flexible working was “one of the few bright spots of the coronavirus”, he said. “We now have a golden opportunity to embrace flexible and remote working to create a better work-life balance for millions of people.”
The research was based on a poll of 2,533 office workers in Britain who had been working from home since the national lockdown was introduced in the spring.
Only 26 per cent of respondents indicated that they wanted to work from home on a full-time basis, with 22 per cent saying that a lack of social interaction over recent months had affected their mental health.