Research shows that three-quarters of workers expect to be permitted to work from home after the pandemic, with staff saying this was “very” or “fairly” likely.

New data released by YouGov has shown that the preferred work model, following the pandemic, is one which allows staff to work from home.

Overall, half (57 per cent) of surveyed workers reported this being their preferred arrangement. Of this number, a fifth (20 per cent) wanted to work from home full-time whilst over a third (37 per cent) wanted the flexibility to work from home some days.

This is a significant change from pre-pandemic modes of working. Two-thirds of employees questioned (65 per cent) confessed that, prior to March 2020, they had never worked from home before.

There appears to be a new-found desire and expectation for flexibility amongst the workforce. Three quarters of workers (72 per cent) felt that it was “very” or “fairly” likely that their employer would allow them to continue to work from home after the pandemic.

As such, many workers are considering moving away from where their offices are based. A fifth of workers nationally (20 per cent), although this figure is significantly higher in London (29 per cent), said that they are considering moving to a different part of the country which is not in commuting distance of their office.

Andrew Willis, Head of Legal at Croner, a HR consultancy, stressed the importance of understanding the needs of individuals and groups within the workforce:

Understanding what it is, that motivates employees is key to retaining talent. Whether that is flexible working or another benefit such as increased pension contributions, individual pitches are arguably better than offering an enhancement that doesn’t suit all of the workforce’s current needs.

While the focus is undoubtedly on flexible working, and more specifically, working from home now that very many employees have had a taste of it, employers should remember that it won’t suit everyone, nor would it be beneficial for everyone. Younger employees new to the industry, or new starters who need to find their feet, are likely to need the mentoring opportunities that can come naturally with sitting amongst a team, so finding other ways to keep them with the business is a good idea.

*YouGov surveyed 1671 British adults between the 19th-21st March 2021 to gather these results.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.