Greater flexibility in the workplace is something that many employers have been seeking for many years. One of the consequences of coronavirus is that many more people have now had the opportunity to work from home giving researchers a far bigger pool to draw views from than ever previously before.
One such survey is that carried out by Deloitte. Their Future of the City survey of financial services employees in the City of London showed an overwhelming number of workers - 70% - found working from home during lockdown to be a positive experience. That compares with 10% finding that it was a negative experience. Fewer distractions and a quieter working environment were key reasons for higher productivity, with most respondents citing the absence of the need to commute as their main reason for the experience being positive. More flexibility, being able to spend time with family and having more time to exercise were also identified as benefits of the lockdown arrangements. However, those that found the experience to be negative highlighted fewer face to face contacts and the blurring of lines between work and home life as being the major negative factors.
As we all wonder quite what the long term impact of the pandemic will be, the Future of the City survey showed that the number of financial service workers who expected to be asked to work remotely for at least one day a week after restrictions are lifted had increased from 41% to 75% since the onset of the pandemic, with the number expecting to be asked to work at home for 2 or more days a week increasing from 12% to 43% over the same period.
A survey of 500 People Management readers indicated that 42% expect to make a limited number of redundancies when the CJRS closes. A further 8% said they expected to make a large number of redundancies. The survey also shows that in many cases the CJRS has done what it set out to do and prevented many redundancies occurring earlier - over half of respondents said they would have made up to a quarter of their currently furloughed staff redundant had it not been for the scheme, 31% would have made between one quarter and three quarters redundant and 12% said more than three quarters of the staff currently on the scheme would have been made redundant.
The Treasury has published data revealing that 8.4 million workers are currently furloughed resulting in the value of claims rising to £15 billion. The self-employment income support scheme has had 2.3 million claims worth £6.8 billion.
A report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies and the UCL Institute of Education has highlighted the inequality between working mothers and fathers during the pandemic. The study looked at 3,500 families with two opposite gender parents. The responses revealed that mothers are more likely to have left paid work since the pandemic began, of those that are still in paid work their hours have seen a bigger proportional reduction that their partners, and where parents are working at home mothers are more likely to be spending their working hours simultaneously trying to care for children. In consequence of this, mothers are doing on average a third of the uninterrupted paid work hours of fathers, down from nearer two thirds before lockdown. Of those who were in work prior to lockdown, mothers are 47% more likely to have permanently lost their jobs or quit than fathers, and are 14% more likely to have been furloughed. This is likely to be bad news for the both the gender pay gap and the economy post lockdown.