Remote working: just what will it look like after the pandemic?

Smart Money: The sector you work in will be a vital determinant of what is on offer

Pandemic restrictions are ending but what will this mean for working from home? Photograph: iStock

Pandemic restrictions are ending but what will this mean for working from home? Photograph: iStock

The sudden lifting of Covid restrictions has put the focus on the return to office work – and the issue of remote or flexible working. A lot of tension lies ahead between employers and employees – but there is much we can learn from the trends so far. Some of the key issues are already taking shape. So what will this look like?

1. Remote working is not going away

The pandemic accelerated a gradual move to remote or flexible working that was already evident. The initial signs are that while the percentage of hours worked at home will fall back from levels at the peal of the Covid emergency, we are looking at a fundamental change from the pre-pandemic picture. Data compiled internationally by jobs website Indeed and the OECD show that both employers and employees are changing their perspective. Last December, searches for jobs allowing remote working were six times higher than before the pandemic. Meanwhile employers were responding, with 12.9 per cent of job adverts on the Indeed site specifically mentioning remote working , versus 2.9 per cent in 2019.

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