Increase in productivity due to more people working from home, study suggests

Many businesses now plan to keep the option of working from home. Credit: PA

The rise in home-working as a result of the coronavirus crisis has increased productivity, new research suggests.

The evidence shows that employers should make hybrid working a success rather than rushing to return staff to workplaces and previous ways of working, said a report.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said a survey of 2,000 employers revealed that the benefits of home-working appear to have increased during the pandemic, suggesting a “significant” productivity benefit over the past year.

Two-thirds of respondents said they plan to introduce or expand the use of hybrid working.

The CIPD called for organisations and the government to make being able to request flexible working a day-one right for all employees.

Many employers said staff who cannot work from home should still be able to benefit from flexible working arrangements, such as flexi-time.

Listen to our coronavirus podcast:

Claire McCartney, of the CIPD, said: “The pandemic has shown that ways of working that previously seemed impossible are actually possible.

“Organisations should take stock and carefully consider how to make hybrid working a success, rather than rushing people back to their workplace when there are clearly productivity benefits to home-working.

“To make hybrid working a success in the long term, employers need to implement a strategy that focuses on wellbeing, communication and collaboration to recognise people’s individual preferences.

“It’s encouraging to hear some organisations are looking at other forms of flexible working, as we know that remote working isn’t an option for everyone.

“Those who cannot work from home should still be able to benefit from having more of a choice and a say in when and how they work.”