THE 2020 WORK FROM HOME SURVEY
02 November 2020

THE 2020 WORK FROM HOME SURVEY

According to the Office for National Statistics 30% of the UK workforce were exclusively working from home at the end of July 2020.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the way businesses big and small work in the UK. As a nation we still don’t know enough about the impact ‘working from home’ will have on the short, medium and long term success of firms.

As lockdown started to ease, it was more important than ever, that the views, experiences, and opinions of people on working from home were heard, so SMART commissioned The UK Work from Home Survey 2020.

The Survey was a short online survey, which was distributed to business leaders across the UK, operated independently by Ashley Riley Communications, and has revealed some very interesting results. It is clear that employers’ and employees’ priorities have changed since the pandemic has hit.

The UK Work from Home Survey 2020 results:

  • 40% of business report that one half or more of their workforce was placed on furlough during lockdown.
  • 78% of businesses say turnover and every day operations will not return to pre COVID levels until 2021 and beyond.
  • 70% of business believe that mental and physical health is the most important issue to their staff post COVID-19 lockdown.
  • 60% of businesses say work life balance and spending time with their family is the main reason for considering working from home.
  • 42% of businesses say being more productive and being able to prioritise is the main reason for considering working from home.
  • 52% of businesses say being better off from not commuting is the main reason for considering working from home.
  • 70% of businesses said that they would be happy for their staff to have a flexible approach to working from home in the future.
  • Only 8% of businesses said that working in the office is a priority.
  • 65% of businesses say the biggest reason for poor performance from staff is that they don’t have the right attitude.
  • 1 in 5 businesses say that the biggest reason for poor performance from staff is that they don’t have the right training.
  • 60% of business leaders say time with family and time with friends will be the most influential factor to impact their happiness at home over the next 2-3 years.
  • 56% of business leaders say that the health of their family will be the most influential factor to impact their happiness at home over the next 2-3 years.
  • 52% of businesses said offering new opportunities to work from home would be the most helpful support they could give to their staff.

The survey results show that business leaders are more open than ever to considering new options to ensure both them and their staff can deliver to the best of their ability, wherever they are based, not only for the benefits of the business but also for the health and well-being of their staff.

Is working from home going to be the new normal?

  • 70% of businesses said that they would be happy for their staff to have a flexible approach to working from home in the future.

Is working from home is more productive?

  • 42% of businesses say being more productive and being able to prioritise is the main reason for considering working from home.

Is working from home the future?

  • Only 8% of businesses said that working in the office is a priority.

Is working from home here to stay?

  • 52% of businesses said offering new opportunities to work from home would be the most helpful support they could give to their staff.

Why, where, and how we work is going to be fundamental for delivering a successful business moving forwards, and it is likely that we will see a radical change to working patterns with flexible working becoming the new norm.

 

SURVEY QUESTIONS AND RESULTS:

Q1: How many people work in your business?
1 – 10 40%
11 – 50 24%
51 – 150 12%
Over 150 20%
Q2: Has the sector your business operates in been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic lockdown?
In a positive way 16%
In no noticeable way 0%
Somewhat 32%
Considerably 32%
Severely 16%
Q3: Approximately how much of the workforce at your business have been placed on some form of furlough during lockdown?
None 37%
25% 20%
50% 16%
75% 8%
More than 75% 16%
Q4: When do you feel that business, turnover and every day operations will return to pre COVID-19 levels at your place of work?
Autumn 2020 12%
Christmas 2020 12%
Early 2021 20%
Mid-Summer 2021 25%
End of next year and beyond 33%
Q5: Thinking about the staff at your place of work and your colleagues, what do you think will be the most important issue to them post COVID-19 lockdown?
Their salary level 4%
Their physical health while at work 37%
Promotion opportunities 0%
Their future financial security 50%
Their mental health 33%
Q6: Thinking about you at your place of work, what is the most important issue to you post COVID-19 lockdown?
Your salary level 0%
Your physical health while at work 20%
Promotion Opportunities 4%
Your future financial security 58%
Your mental health 33%
Q7: Thinking of the positive aspects of ‘working from home’ what for you and those you manage would be the main reason for considering it?
I would be more productive 21%
My work/life balance would be improved 47%
I would get more time to prioritise 21%
I could spend more time with my family 13%
I’d be better off physically and economically from not commuting/travelling to work. 52%
Q8: Thinking of any concerns you have about ‘working from home’ what for you and those you manage would be the main reason for not considering it?
It wouldn’t suit everyone in my business 47%
Lack of face to face to communication 56%
Trust in certain individuals to deliver 17%
It is too much of an easy option 4%
We just need to get back to normal 8%
Q9: Looking at 2021 and beyond which one of the below would your business consider to be the best option if the staff concerned were delivering against their objectives?
Working from a place of their choice 8%
Working from Home 0%
A flexible approach (WFH and Office) 70%
It depends on the individual 29%
Working in the office is a priority 8%
Q10: What is the biggest challenge your business experiences with members of the team who don’t deliver?
They are consistent under achievers 15%
They are lazy 5%
They don’t have the right attitude 65%
They don’t have the right training 20%
The job is too big for them 10%
Q11: Over the next 2 – 3 years what do you think will be the most influential factor that will impact your happiness at work?
Level of pay 26%
Non-financial rewards 17%
Health and welfare benefits 17%
Medium to long term security of my job 47%
Opportunities for promotion 13%
Q12: Over the next 2 – 3 years what do you think will be the most influential factor that will impact your happiness at home?
Health of my family 56%
Opportunity to have a holiday overseas 4%
Job security 30%
Time with my family 43%
Time with my friends 17%
Q13: If your place of work could deliver a new service to support you and those you work with which do you think would be the most helpful?
Physical Health Support (workouts, gym memberships) 4%
Mental Health Support (counselling, mindfulness) 33%
New opportunities to work from home 52%
Health service provision (private health care etc.) 14%
The UK Work from Home Survey 2020 was commissioned by SMART in August 2020 and closed on 7 September 2020. The response rate from business leaders across the UK was above the average rate for external surveys as set out by peoplepulse.com