Big Four accountancy firm, PwC, has revealed the attitudes of employees in the North West towards working from home during the coronavirus crisis.
PwC’s nationwide survey has suggested workers in the region have had a less positive experience of remote working compared to counterparts in London and the South East.
56% of employees in the North West reported that they were now working fewer hours as a result of working from home, and 45% felt they were more productive as a result of remote working. However, 71% of Londoners felt they spent less time working during the coronavirus crisis, while almost 4 in 5 in the South East region reported higher productivity.
The PwC survey also asked respondents about the feelings towards working from home once Covid-19 restrictions began to be lifted. In the South East, just under half (46%) want to work from home more often than they had previously. In contrast, attitudes in the North West are less positive, with only 39% wanting to work from home more often, and almost 1 in 5 saying they never want to work from home again.
The broad spectrum of attitudes towards home working in the region will be food for though for businesses in the North West as they establish new policies for when workplaces reopen. Carol Stubbings, PwC Joint Global Leader for People and Organisation, commented:
The research highlights that working from home can be a massively different experience depending on personal circumstances, including the size of your home, how many people you live with, and caring responsibilities. It’s surprising that despite this, the majority of people say they are more productive at home. Cutting out commuting time and workplace distractions undoubtedly saves time but it doesn’t always equate to happiness, and in the long-run this could have a negative impact on productivity and employee satisfaction and wellbeing.
“Employers need to think about what works best for different people to get the balance right. We’ll undoubtedly see more working from home post crisis, but it’ll be about flexible working rather than the enforced situation we’re in now. Making sure people have the right skills, technology and wellbeing support will also be crucial.”