Survey finds huge rise in home-working  & increased Human Resources workloads

New research published today suggests that as many as 88% of employers expect to facilitate home-working post-pandemic, and that nearly two thirds (64%) of Human Resources (HR) specialists expect this seismic change in working patterns to increase their workload.

The survey, undertaken by employee benefits consultancy Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing (Howden) earlier this year, surveyed more than 200 senior Human Resources professionals from a range of public, private, and third sector employers.

The findings suggest that almost 9 in every 10 organisations are now intending to introduce at least some home-working.  Around 39% of respondents expected partial home working to be available to all workers, with a further 46% intending to introduce this for some employees only.  And a further 3% are intending to move to an entirely home-based working model after the pandemic restrictions are removed.

Commenting on these findings Steve Herbert, Head of Benefits Strategy, at Howden said;

“After more than a year of restrictions it’s no surprise that both employers and employees have become far more accustomed to the concept of home working, and both sides can now see the benefits.   

From the employer perspective the benefits of continuing with at least some home-working include cost savings, improved engagement, higher productivity, and better employee wellbeing too. 

Yet a permanent change to partial or full home-working will inevitably pose new challenges for employers and their HR departments to manage, and our survey demonstrates that many Human Resources professionals expect their workload to increase accordingly as a result.”

Indeed the survey found that nearly two thirds (64%) of all the HR specialists surveyed are now expecting more work pressures as a direct result of the move to homeworking, with 18% expecting a significant increase to the Human Resources workload.  That said, a very small minority of respondents (3%) expected the move to remote working would reduce the overall HR workload.

Howden also highlights that the move towards greater remote and homeworking should be matched with much greater flexibility and reach in company-sponsored employee benefit offerings to support employees.

More than half of the employers surveyed may need to improve (8%) or review (44%) their current benefits offering with this in mind.

Howden believe that the reality of the new remote-working employment world requires a different mix of benefits and delivery to ensure that all employees are supported, empowered, and engaged by their employee benefits offering.

Herbert concluded;

“We would strongly encourage many more employers to embrace flexible benefits and/or digital communication and delivery methods to better support the increasing numbers of remote workers in the 2020s. 

The pandemic is likely to represent a watershed moment in employment, and Howden would urge HR professionals to ensure that their company-sponsored employee benefits offerings reflect this significant shift in working practices.”  

For more information about the range of Howden’s Pension, Employee Benefits, and Financial Wellbeing services available please visit the Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing website:  www.howdengroup.com/uk-en/cover/employee-benefits-and-wellbeing-consulting