Working from home is now a permanent fixture, say bosses

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Four out five bosses expect their companies to continue to allow staff to work from home for at least part of the week, according to a survey.

Seventy-nine per cent of leaders polled by the Institute of Directors plan to adopt remote working in the long term.

More than a quarter of the 700 executives surveyed expect their organisations to be fully flexible, with individual members of staff allowed to choose their working patterns. A further 39 per cent intend to shift to between one and four days of remote working per week, the institute said.

Thirteen per cent of respondents intend to go fully remote, while only 16 per cent will demand that staff go into the workplace five days a week.

The findings as bosses make key choices over future workplace practices with coronavirus restrictions set to scrapped in England shortly.

The government is encouraging civil servants to return to the office, but the call has been met with resistance by unions. Similar tensions have arisen in the private sector. A recent poll conducted by Slack, the workplace collaboration tool, found that one in six white-collar workers would be prepared to change jobs if they were forced to return to the office.

“Remote working can be a powerful tool in improving employees’ work-life balance and job satisfaction, which contributes to a more engaged and productive workforce,” Alex Hall-Chen, senior policy adviser at the Institute of Directors, said. “However, remote working is not suitable for all organisations. Companies will work closely with their employees to find the best solutions.”