Half of UK employers expect more post-covid flexible working requests

A new survey from Acas has found that half of employers in Great Britain expect an increase in demand for flexible forms of working from employees following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acas commissioned YouGov to ask British businesses about changes to working practices that they are expecting once the COVID-19 pandemic is over compared to before the pandemic.

The poll found that over half of employers (55%) expect an increase in staff working from home or remotely part of the week, and nearly half (49%) expect an increase in staff working from home or remotely all week.

Acas has published new advice on hybrid working that can help employers introduce it and manage requests from staff who wish to split their time between working remotely and in their employer’s workplace.

Acas chief executive, Susan Clews, said: “The pandemic has greatly impacted working life and it’s unsurprising that many employers and their staff have seen the benefits of flexible working during this difficult period.

“Hybrid working existed before Covid and our survey reveals that more than half of employers in Britain expect this type of flexible working to increase once we come out of the pandemic.

“Our new advice can help employers look at the potential benefits of hybrid working, consider whether it is suitable for their workplace, and fairly manage any staff requests.”

Acas advice is that hybrid working can help businesses attract and retain staff as well as increase staff productivity as the flexibility allows them to balance work and personal responsibilities.

Employees can benefit by saving costs and the time spent travelling to work as well as enjoying a better work-life balance.

The advice from Acas to employers also includes that:

  • employers should consult widely with their staff on hybrid working;
  • companies should consider introducing a company hybrid working policy;
  • companies should ensure that staff working remotely are not excluded and will have access to the same opportunities as those in the workplace;
  • and companies should consider a trial period to test out their hybrid model.

The full advice from Acas can be found here.