Work from home could double after lockdown, but young people are struggling

  • A new survey from Deloitte estimates that 7.5m workers in the UK hope for permanent work from home after lockdown, but young people are experiencing digital skills issues and isolation.

    As part of its new "UK workers: a year in the pandemic" research, Deloitte has surveyed 1,248 UK-based workers aged between 16 and 75 on their attitudes toward future work, working from home, and digital skills barriers in industry. It has produced some interesting findings, finding that 7.5m workers may expect to do their jobs permanently from home after lockdown.

    Around 3.6m workers did their jobs from home before lockdown, and that number is expected to rise after the pandemic even when offices start opening up again. Around 23% of those surveyed said they hope to continue working from home all or most of the time once restrictions are lifted.

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    Support for hybrid work models was strong in the surveyed group, as it has been in previous surveys of this nature. A total of 42% of those surveyed hoped to do their jobs from home at least twice per week, with only 23% expecting full-time remote jobs. Only 28% have said that they plan to go back to an office full-time and won't work from home again.

    The survey also identified some gaps in IT training for those currently working remotely, even among younger people. Around 37% of under-35s currently working from home due to the pandemic reported feeling overwhelmed by technology, and 29% are not confident using technology in their jobs. This is higher than the average, showing that young people are struggling more with remote work.

    Other issues that have arisen include 39% of people having difficulty staying motivated and 34% having trouble maintaining a good work-life balance when working from home. Not being in an office has also caused an increasing sense of isolation and loneliness among around 33% of those surveyed.

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    Will Gosling, human capital consulting leader at Deloitte, commented: "Lockdown has opened workers’ eyes to the benefits of working from home, with many relishing the lack of commute and flexible working day. However this isn’t the end for the UK’s workplaces."

    "Many companies will invest in revamping their spaces in the coming months to encourage teams to work creatively and collaboratively when they do venture in to their workplace. Desks will be replaced with meeting rooms and training spaces, creating a vibrant hub for collaboration and skills training. For most of the week, teams will prefer to work primarily from the comfort of their own home, which the past 12-months has shown also allows them to be at their most productive."

    Source: Written based on press release

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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