Employee Engagement

With businesses across the world seeing the tangible benefits of a mobile workforce over the last few months, returning to the office may become temporary as working from home potentially becomes a new way of working, according to research collated by Instant Offices.

To find out which countries are currently leading the concept of working from home as the new ‘norm’, Instant Offices have revealed the top ten below:

Country Businesses with a flexible work policy Employees who consider flex work to be the new norm
Germany 80% 68%
The Netherlands 75% 73%
Australia 71% 74%
USA 69% 74%
Canada 68% 77%
UK 68% 73%
Brazil 67% 72%
South Africa 62% 79%
Spain 61% 74%
France 60% 68%

Research shows 80% of workplaces in Germany now have a flexible work policy in place. And where 68% of workers consider this the new normal, a remote German workforce could become a reality sooner than we think, and there are many countries who could follow suit, including the UK.

In response to how the workforce adapted during COVID-19, Germany’s Labour and Social Affairs Minister has revealed plans to present a bill granting all workers the ‘right to work from home’ by law. At the same time, politicians are calling for more tax advantages for employees who work from home, such as the ability to deduct 20% of warm rent from income tax.

In the UK, employees may have a legal right to request flexible working under the Employment Rights Act, however the trend has not been embraced in UK workplace culture like their European counterparts have. Post-COVID-19 has seen sentiments shift, however, and if a “right to work from home” law comes into place, it could see a rise in productivity, benefitting both employees and businesses.

A UK survey showed that 65% of workers are more productive in home offices than at their regular offices. 83% of workers feel they don’t need to be in the office to be productive, and two-thirds of employers agree, reporting increased productivity among remote workers.

Major Businesses Leading the Way

Several major corporations have been adopting policies that allow employees to work from home. For example, Amazon and Microsoft employees have the option to work from home until October, while Google and Facebook workers have the option until the end of 2020. Some businesses are looking further ahead, and Twitter has offered their staff the opportunity to work from home permanently.

As these international businesses begin to navigate the benefits and challenges of working from home, we could see workplace strategy shift towards a more flexible strategy on a long-term basis.

John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices commented: “We’ve seen in recent years how flexible working can have a positive impact on talent acquisition and retention. We’ve also noticed a significant increase in demand for the opportunity to work from home, particularly from working parents looking to return to the workplace. Considering these trends, it’s reasonable to expect that the right to work from home could help businesses to retain more diverse talent, save on turnover costs and enjoy the benefits of a happier, more engaged workforce.”

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