The rapid acceleration of home working caused by the coronavirus pandemic has sparked a generational divide in how employees would prefer to work post-Covid, a new survey suggests.
Twice as many under-35s want permanent flexible working options post-pandemic compared to over-55s, according to new research by Deloitte. Some 64 per cent of under-35s said they want their employers to introduce the options, compared to 32 per cent of over-55s.
The survey of over 1,000 office workers found that over half (52 per cent) of those who were office-based before the pandemic hit had never worked from home pre-coronavirus, but that a large majority (74 per cent) would like to work from home more frequently in future.
Some 52 per cent of respondents said they would like the majority or more of their working week to be based at home.
“The overnight switch from office to home introduced brand new ways of working for many,” said Deloitte partner Shivani Maitra. “Six months on, while some employees have struggled with the transition, the majority have enjoyed a better work life balance.”
Just 15 per cent of respondents said they did not want to work from home at all after the pandemic, while 74 per cent said they would like to work from home at least 20 per cent of the time, with over half saying they want to work from home over 60 per cent of the time.
The survey also found a generational disparity in whether workers had rushed to return to the office after the government relaxed guidance on people travelling into work.
While almost half of over-55s had returned to the office at least one day a week by the end of September, just one third of those under 35 had done the same.
“The disparity between older and younger generations of the workforce returning to the office is likely to be a reflection of the preferred working arrangements of different age groups, particularly younger workers’ receptiveness to change,” said Maitra.