One in four businesses intend to allow all workers to work from home at least some of the time

Eir NolsoeData Journalist
July 29, 2021, 9:42 AM UTC

Only a fifth of business decision makers say their company will require workers to come in five days a week after the pandemic – down from one in three before

The government has now dropped the “work from home if you can” guidance. The return to offices will be a welcome end to an “aberration” according to Goldman Sachs CEO, David Solomon. But new YouGov data suggests that many business decision makers don’t have the same urge to return to “normal”.

Two in five businesses will allow all (24%) or most (18%) employees to work from home with the last coronavirus restrictions lifting. This is a considerable increase compared with before the pandemic, when only one in four businesses (24%) had this policy, including 17% who allowed all staff to work remotely.

While fewer businesses say they will allow workers to work remotely than at the height of the pandemic (39% allowed all, 20% most), it does show a significant change. Before COVID-19, 30% of businesses did not allow any employees to work remotely – a number that fell by half during the pandemic’s peak (14%) – and will still be at the lower figure of one in five (19%) in the aftermath. 

It appears hybrid working will become increasingly common

Struggling lunch places, gyms and shops in the city centres are desperate for the return of office workers, but they’re unlikely to see the same influx of people as previously.

Only one in five business decision makers (19%) say their company plans to require all workers to come in five days a week – down from one in three (35%) before COVID-19.

Meanwhile, many are only asking their employees to come in one (7%), two (12%), three (11%) or four (6%) days.

A fifth of businesses (19%) plan to let their staff choose whether to come in at all once all restrictions end – up from 11% before the coronavirus crisis.

There does not appear to be any rise in businesses cutting costs and making all of their staff work remotely at 9% - similar to before the pandemic (8%).

See the full results here