The WISERD report on Homeworking in the UK: Before and During the 2020 Lockdown has been cited in a government consultation on Making flexible working the default. The open consultation seeks views from individuals and businesses on proposals to reform flexible working regulations (The Flexible Working Regulations 2014).
The report, by Alan Felstead of Cardiff University and Darja Reuschke of the University of Southampton, presents evidence on the scale of the shift of paid work into the home in the UK during lockdown. It considers its impact on the mental well-being and productivity of homeworkers, and the likely prevalence of homeworking after social distancing restrictions are fully lifted.
The report finds that, in general, many workers have become used to – and have even experienced the benefits of – working at home, after a shaky start. In addition, productivity has not been adversely affected by the shift towards homeworking. Furthermore, if those who want to continue working at home in the future are allowed to do so, productivity may be boosted by a sustained increase in the prevalence of homeworking, as those who felt more productive while working at home are among the keenest to continue to work at home.
Professor Felstead has recently completed a wider review of the historical and contemporary evidence on the subject. Remote Working: A Research Overview will be published by Routledge early in 2022.
A WISERD team, involving Professor Felstead and Rhys Davies, is also involved in the ESRC funded collaboration: Productivity Outcomes of Workplace Practice, Engagement and Learning (PrOPEL) Hub. The aim of PrOPEL Hub is to help boost productivity and wellbeing at work through supporting the growth of better workplaces in the UK. A summary of the report is available from PrOPEL.
You can read more about the consultation and how to respond on the GOV.UK website. It closes at 11:45pm on 1 December 2021.