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Fascinating new research in this week’s newsletter suggesting that more than three in five employees who can work from home would be happy if their office remained closed indefinitely after lockdown measures are lifted. One in five claimed to be ‘extremely happy’ at the prospect of working permanently from home.

UK businesses appear to be listening, with the research revealing that nearly a third  of HR decision makers say they intend to close or at least reduce their office space capacity, arguably signalling the biggest shift in working life since the Second World War.

The survey, which included employees and HR decision makers from across a range of industry sectors, took place after 13 weeks of lockdown and was conducted exclusively by YouGov on behalf of Winckworth Sherwood.

Louise Lawrence, Partner, Employment Team at Winckworth Sherwood, said: “Despite much talk of offices re-opening and returning to ‘normal’, it appears that our time in lockdown has had a lasting impact upon the way we will approach working life and the changing expectations of employees that companies must now take into consideration. Whatever flexible working arrangements are offered in the longer term, employers need to consider their responsibilities towards employees when they implement their flexible working practices such as ensuring a safe work set up at home and effective engagement, and looking after their employees’ wellbeing.  Flexible working and mental health at work policies, which are embedded in an open culture of good communication are essential.”

Lots to think about here and we will be examining the ramifications of these findings in more detail at our upcoming 2020 Virtual Internal Communications Conference this autumn. Look forward to welcoming you there.

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