Will remote working kill the office?

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of UK employees desire the option to work from home and just 35% want to work from the office full time, a new study has found.

The situation is reflected across the world. In Randstad’s global survey of 200,000 workers, 64 per cent said they would like to work remotely at least occasionally.

Some UK employees, however, desire a lot more – with 14 per cent of respondents, and 18 per cent of people aged 45-65, wanting to work from home every day.

Working PreferenceUKGlobal
Work in the office everyday35%34%
Work remotely occasionally34%38%
Work remotely a fixed number of days a week14%15%
Work remotely every working day of the week14%11%

Understandably, given the stage of their careers, a smaller percentage of UK respondents aged 18-24 (11%) said they would like to work from home all the time. Globally, by contrast, just 8 per cent of people aged 18-24 said they would prefer to work from home all the time.

Meanwhile, 14 per cent of UK employees also said they would like to work remotely a fixed number of days a week. This rose to 20 per cent for respondents aged 18-24, suggesting the remote working mentality is taking root most among the younger generation.

>See also: Does flexible working really spell the end of the office?

But working remotely is clearly not enough for today’s employees. The survey also revealed that well over half (58%) of Brits would like to work flexible hours rather than a standard hours working week. This might involve working longer days and shorter weeks or flexible workdays every week.

“The UK work environment, like workplaces globally, is changing at a rate of knots,” says Jacques van den Broek, CEO at Randstad. “Employees increasingly want to work remotely and they also want their hours to be flexible.

“The UK’s employers, especially the larger ones that can be slower to adapt, need to sit up and take note if they are to remain attractive in the eyes of today’s employees.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that companies that don’t evolve their work cultures and philosophies in line with changing consumer attitudes could soon find they’re left behind.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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