Following a national shift towards increased remote working, a new study by Huawei, the leading global technology company, has revealed that the overwhelming majority of desk-based workers in the UK 88%) want to continue working from home for at least one day a week. Of those keen to keep a remote/ office mix, a massive 60% would like to work remotely for a minimum of three days a week and 17% want to be out of the office for the full five days.
The success of the country’s flexible working has been reliant on a good tech foundation – with almost nine in ten (87%) desk-based workers agreeing that great tech is the key to working from anywhere. Fast broadband (76%), reliability (62%) and long battery life (42%) are the qualities those surveyed say they need from their tech devices, including laptops and phones, to enable them to work from wherever they want. In addition, almost nine in ten (87%) said that video meetings are just as effective for getting the job done, suggesting there is more room for Zoom in workdays of the future.
Chartered psychologist and cognitive behavioural expert, Dr. Becky Spelman has labelled this new trend ‘tech-xploring’, with technology making it easier than ever to work anywhere and everywhere:
“Working from home every day has been a challenge for a lot of people – even those who have been pushing for more flexibility in their roles. As a psychologist, what I find so fascinating about everything this study reveals, is how good we are at trying to make these situations work for us. Technology has, of course, played a pivotal role in making work easier at home, but it has also been key to us finding ways to make working more comfortable, fun and flexible. This notion of tech-xploring – of being able to get our work done anywhere – is giving people a licence to really explore what makes work ‘work’ for them.”
“Traditionally, ‘flexibility’ has often been cited as a ‘women’s issue’—but it has become an ‘everyone’s issue’, as flexible working can have huge benefits for the work-life balance for the anyone previously tied to an office. I think there are some interesting times ahead as more and more companies invest in this way of work/life.”
With increased remote working set to be the new normal for lots of office workers, technology is now more important than ever. The Huawei MateBook series combines the best in innovation and intelligence, with an incredible design that allows Brits to easily work from wherever they want. Talking about the nation’s flexible working habits, Anson Zhang, Managing Director of Huawei’s UK Consumer Business Group, said:
“As the world moves to new ways of working, technology has undoubtedly smoothed the transition, helping many people adapt to remote working and to shape a future of increased flexibility. Now more than ever, consumers need to be supported with technology that helps them get the most out of their day, with laptops and connected device ecosystems that let us work however we want. Huawei’s MateBook range is designed with the tech-xplorer in mind, bringing powerhouse performance and intelligence into a beautiful, and more importantly, portable form factor that truly lets you work from anywhere.”
Freedom in flexibility
Three quarters (75%) of respondents said they are happier working from home and more than half (53%) said being able to choose where they set up to work has had a positive impact on their mental health.
Respondents also revealed the top benefits of remote working:
- 53% are finding freedom in being able to schedule their own workday
- 47% enjoy not having a dress code
- 42% say they are benefitting from having more time for household chores
- 39% said they were less distracted by colleagues.
The study also revealed that working away from the office is giving desk-based workers in the UK more scope to find new and interesting places to set up their workspace, with only one third now working from the same place each week, and the average person setting up their workspace in three different places. More than a quarter (27%) are working from five or more locations every week. The survey of 2,000 primarily desk-based working adults found that young people aged 18-24 are the most adventurous when it comes to working remotely, with one third (29%) working from at least eight or more different places each week, whilst baby boomers are more than twice as likely to work from the same place every day.
The top 10 spots to work, outside of the office or commute are:
- Garden (37%)
- Café (19%)
- Friend’s house (18%)
- Park (16%)
- Balcony (12%)
- Holiday destination / holiday home (10.4%)
- Colleagues house (10%)
- Pub (10%)
- Beach (8.2%)
- Gym (6%)
Rise of the Sea-EO
The survey highlighted that the enforced remote working has made many re-evaluate their home situation:
- Almost half (43%) of those surveyed said they would consider relocating to the seaside
- On average, those polled would be willing to commute an extra 39 miles to work each day, with over a third (37%) using that time to work
- One in five (22%) revealed they’d be willing to commute an extra 50 miles or more to live somewhere more desirable if their current level of flexible working continued.
A connected future
The research also looked at which factors city-living respondents would look for when relocating further from the office:
- 50% of those surveyed agreed that good Wi-Fi or a strong mobile hot spot was an important factor, alongside decent house prices
- 37% said proximity to family and friends was also important
- 33% cited that having the countryside on the doorstep would be something they’d look for