A survey of the UK’s workers by Big Four accountancy practice, PwC has revealed attitudes and experiences of home working in the North West during the coronavirus lockdown.
The PwC survey has found that through remote working, a majority (56%) are reporting working fewer hours than before the coronavirus crisis, with 45% feeling that they are more productive when at home.
However, workers in the North West are the least likely to feel more productive at home out of the UK regions, with between 7 and 8 out of 10 self-reporting an increased productivity in London and the South East.
The survey also revealed that there was a broad spectrum of attitudes to remote working in the region, and as workplaces begin to reopen, employers will need to balance these varying attitudes in future policies. Just of a third of workers in the North West (39%) reported a desire to work from home more after the crisis ended, but 17% were adamant that remote working is not for them.
Carol Stubbings, PwC joint global leader, people and organisation, said:
“The research highlights that working from home can be a massively different experience depending on personal circumstances, including the size of your home, how many people you live with, and caring responsibilities. It’s surprising that despite this, the majority of people say they are more productive at home. Cutting out commuting time and workplace distractions undoubtedly saves time but it doesn’t always equate to happiness, and in the long-run this could have a negative impact on productivity and employee satisfaction and wellbeing.
“Employers need to think about what works best for different people to get the balance right. We’ll undoubtedly see more working from home post crisis, but it’ll be about flexible working rather than the enforced situation we’re in now. Making sure people have the right skills, technology and wellbeing support will also be crucial.”
The PwC survey also revealed that workers in the North West struggled more with maintaining relationships with colleagues while working from home. Around a quarter of respondents to PwC’s survey felt they spoke colleagues more than they did previously, suggesting that should remote working become more commonplace in the future, employers will need to give greater thought to appropriate communication to ensure strong working relationships within teams.