People new to home working want to continue in the future, survey suggests

While people say they are more productive, they also share concerns about motivation, loneliness and the ability to switch off Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

The majority of employees working from home for the first time due to coronavirus hope to continue doing so in the future despite having concerns about motivation, a survey suggests.

According to a study of 4,002 adults, half of people are currently working remotely (49%) all or most of the time during lockdown, with 39% among them who did not tend to work from home prior to the pandemic.

Among home working newcomers, seven in 10 (68%) said they would like to carry on working this way when the crisis is over.

A similar number (70%) believe they can be as productive when working from home as in the office.

Having greater flexibility with working hours, having more time in the day due to no longer commuting and being around family more are cited as some of the most popular advantages to being away from the office, though many also admit to some issues.

Almost half (45%) said staying motivated was a challenge, while a third (35%) complained of too many distractions at home.

Loneliness, an inability to switch off from work and IT issues also ranked high on the problem list.

Half (46%) suggested a better desk or chair would help alleviate some of these concerns, while a third (32%) cited a private area in their home to work in.

Vivek Dodd, co-founder of Skillcast, which commissioned YouGov to carry out the survey, said: “What strikes us most is the level of confidence, 70% of employees across all company sizes, regions, industry sectors, ages and gender, say that they can be as productive WFH (working from home) as in the office.

“This suggests that WFH should be seen as a viable alternative even after the current Covid-19 crisis abates.”

The research also revealed that Microsoft Teams is considered the most useful communication platform when working remotely (33%), followed by Skype at 14% and Zoom at 12%.