The Workers Union is calling for home working to become the new normal.
The announcement came as the organisation’s policy and research department revealed the results of its latest survey.
The union asked members whether they would work from home permanently if they could. In a landslide result, 69 percent responded yes to the question, with only 31 percent answering no.
A spokesman for The Workers Union said: ‘The results of our survey show that there’s a real appetite for home working amongst those people who’re are able to. Despite concerns about mental health issues, many homeworkers have handled the challenges presented by lockdown admirably. As well as increasing their productivity, they’ve been able to enjoy a better work/life balance. In some cases this has meant taking their children to and from school. In others the sudden absence of a long and wearying commute has proved invaluable.
‘We’d like to see company chiefs take the hint and offer workers more flexibility. They’ve shown they can be trusted to carry out their duties in difficult circumstances, so managers need no longer fret that their staff are parked in front of daytime TV.’
Home Working Across the UK
The union’s stance has been supported by the actions of some major employers. In recent weeks, HMRC have signalled their intention to allow staff to work from home two days a week. And in the private sector, accounting firm EY have joined other big players by offering employees a ‘hybrid working’ deal featuring 2 days a week at home.
Despite these moves, statistics from the Office of National Statistics point to a discrepancy between the number of those people who experienced home working opportunities in 2020 and those who did not.
Although the proportion of people working from home doubled (around 25.9 percent), they were still in the minority compared with figures across the UK. They show that professional occupations in London and the South East were more likely to enjoy flexibility at work, while a greater number of those employed in different sectors in the North and North West carried on commuting to their places of work.
The Workers Union said: ‘There’s a clear lack of equality of opportunity across the country. Sometimes a job cannot be done remotely, but in other cases there are obvious signs companies need to work harder to create equitable working patterns for their staff.’
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