One in five parents 'want to work entirely from home in the future'

4 February 2021, 07:17 | Updated: 4 February 2021, 11:47

Many working parents now fear a confrontation with employers when restrictions are lifted, research has said
Many working parents now fear a confrontation with employers when restrictions are lifted, research has said. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

One in five parents want to work entirely from home in the future after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, research has suggested.

One of the defining features of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a major shift in employees working from home as the nation seeks to drive down case numbers.

But many working parents now fear a confrontation with employers when restrictions are lifted and bosses seek to return to "normal" working conditions.

Workers who have juggled home working with looking after children in the past year strongly favour carrying on with hybrid working arrangements, said a report.

A survey of 1,000 parents found that more than two out of five feared losing their jobs when the coronavirus crisis eases.

Worries include the end of furlough schemes, a belief that organisations will cut jobs, and managers demanding greater attendance in offices and other workplaces, the report found.

Nursery provider Bright Horizons said half of those it surveyed complained that employers were unsympathetic or did not offer practical help with childcare needs.

Employers are approaching a "moment of truth" in their relationships with staff as the vaccine rollout continues, and have an opportunity to reassure workers and retain their loyalty, said the report.

Read more: New study to determine if Covid-19 vaccines can be safely mixed

Read more: Captain Sir Tom Moore's grandson pays incredible tribute on LBC

Almost one in five of those surveyed said they wanted to work entirely from home in the future, while most respondents favoured a mixture of home and office work.

Many workers still do not feel confident about discussing family issues with their employers despite the huge changes over the past year, with fewer than three in five saying their organisation cares about their work-life balance, said the report.

Fewer than a quarter of those polled said their employers had given a clear message that flexible working was positively viewed.

Denise Priest of Bright Horizons said: "In previous years, this survey has shown an increasing desire amongst both mothers and fathers for greater flexibility at work, but 2020 has been truly extraordinary, with staff doing triple time as employees, parents and in-home teachers.

"As normality returns, there seems to be disagreement between some organisations and their workers about what normality should mean.

"Employers who have recognised the heightened priority of family life and provided practical support for their staff will retain and gain talented employees, while those who do not will lose out.

"Currently the pandemic is causing much concern about job security, with accompanying gratitude to be in a job and a reluctance to risk change and rock the boat.

"The hidden hazard now for employers is that new expectations sit below the surface like an iceberg.

"This survey strongly suggests that when some degree of economic certainty returns, highly valued staff will judge their companies on how they supported them during the crisis."

A separate survey of almost 700 adults suggested most do not want to go back to working in an office full time, with nearly three-quarters saying they want to split their time between home and office working.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said its study indicated that more people felt working from home was better for their health and wellbeing, despite some feeling less connected to colleagues, taking less exercise and developing musculoskeletal problems.

One in four respondents said they were working from a sofa or a bedroom.

Christina Marriott, chief executive of the RSPH, said: "Our findings reveal that although working from home can be beneficial for people's health and wellbeing, there are stark differences in how different groups have been affected.

"For people who have multiple housemates or are working from their bedroom or a sofa, the impact on their mental and physical health is extremely concerning and something we believe that employers need to address.

"The changes in the way that millions of people are working has the potential for employers to rethink how they are supporting their employees' mental and physical health.

"Some form of home working is likely to continue for millions of people and we urge employers to take the necessary steps to ensure their staff can work from home as safely and healthily as possible."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Breaking
Breaking News

Killer husband who murdered wife on wedding night and hid body in suitcase jailed for life

Brits are scrambling to update their Apple devices after a major security flaw was found

Millions told to update Apple tech 'right now' after major security issue leaves devices vulnerable to hackers

klajeflakjf

NHS warns surging energy bills could cause 'humanitarian crisis' this winter

There are warnings the cost of a pint could reach as high as £14 in London in years to come

Price of pint in London could reach £14 and takeaway coffee nearly a fiver in coming years, research suggests

Exclusive
Melvin Terry waited for 27 hours in A&E before being sent home

Hospital apologises after grandfather, 76, spent 27 hours waiting for A&E bed before being sent home

The girl was allegedly abducted from Warne Avenue, Droylsden

Man, 23, arrested on suspicion of abduction and sexual assault of girl, 6, in Droylsden

Grant Shapps told Nick Ferrari there were "no plans" to introduce registration plates for cyclists

'No plans' to introduce registration plates for cyclists, says Grant Shapps

Jack Fenton was killed after being struck by a helicopter's tail rotor

Parents demand answers from Greek authorities after son, 22, killed by helicopter blade

Lady Louise

Lady Louise Windsor working for minimum wage at garden centre before university

Gerard Butler posted this picture of him and his pal Darius on Instagram

Gerard Butler pays tribute to 'dear friend' Darius Danesh and posts moving Instagram photo

A 44-year-old man has been charged with the murder of 87-year-old Thomas O'Halloran

Man charged with murder after Thomas O'Halloran, 87, stabbed to death on mobility scooter in Greenford

iPhones and iPads are among the affected devices

Apple reveals serious security issue with iPhones, iPads and Macs that could give hackers complete control

Another day of travel chaos awaits commuters in and to London

Unions threaten to strike for 'as long as it takes' as millions face more travel chaos in London

The officer has been charged with dangerous driving

Armed officer charged with dangerous driving after he drove unmarked car to Streatham terror attack

Ryan Giggs' raunchy poems to his ex were read out in court

Ryan Giggs' mother sits in court as raunchy 'totem pole' poems he sent to ex are read out

Ms Marin said she is a normal 36-year-old who spends time with her friends

Finnish PM denies drug taking after footage of 36-year-old dancing at 'wild' party emerges