Monday 2 November 2020 6:01 am

Half of British companies expect permanent flexible working post-Covid

Almost half of Britsh companies think their staff will be allowed a flexible working arrangement into the future while almost seven in ten say they will ramp up efforts to get to net zero carbon, according to new polling.

A CBI/Ipsos Mori poll found that 79 per cent of companies said their staff worked entirely or almost entirely in offices in 2019, but that just 29 per cent think this will be the case next year.

Forty-seven per cent of businesses surveyed expect staff to split their time evenly between home and the workplace going forward in a bid to allow flexible working.

CBI deputy director-general Josh Hardie said: “Remote working has brought huge benefits…it has not led to a collapse in productivity.

“Often lost travel time has disappeared, together with the stress and carbon emissions of the morning commute. Many local communities have been rediscovered.

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“They continue to offer real benefits, particularly for welcoming new staff, training and collaboration. Yet while Covid-19 may have triggered a mass migration from UK workplaces, talk of the death of the office is premature.”

The polling also shows that 67 per cent of UK businesses expect to have increased activities to “support the net zero carbon emissions reduction target” compared to 2019.

Ipsos Mori chief executive Ben Page said the pandemic had made UK businesses want to “build back better”.

“What our latest research shows is that while parts of the economy face massive disruption, elsewhere there are likely permanent positive changes,” he said. 

“These include less commuting, more distributed work forces, a better carbon footprint, a re-imagining of offices, and potentially better quality of life for employees.”