A flick of the kettle, another mess in the fridge – for Boris Johnson, it’s far too tempting to work from home.
In a renewed call, the prime minister wants the country back in office and scrapping telework.
But is his argument for getting the British back to office valid? And how do people feel about what’s been used to ‘WFH’ for two years now?
Take in the mill town of Burnley Lancashire. It’s actually the second best area in the UK for recruiting for work from home, according to data released by Zoom earlier this week.
Since March 2020, the area has seen a 391% increase in the number of jobs that allow people to perform telework, and they are being taken up.
Dave Walker runs +24 Marketing. He has put in place a hybrid work plan for his staff, and he says moving most of his business to teleworking has meant he can attract employees further afield.
That is why he believes the Prime Minister’s comments are not “forward-looking”.
He told Sky News: “Realistically, it comes down to culture, and if you have the strong and positive culture of the organization that you work within, then your team that works – wherever they are – will work hard and consistently, and they will “not think of going in the fridge to eat more cheese.”
Although many of his employees work from home, Dave feels that there is still “value in having an office”.
“We are flexible and we have team days where everyone is in the office, I think that really helps with creativity,” he said.
“The scenario of working from home has not been a big challenge for us as a company. In fact, we have seen a lot of benefits.”
Boris Johnson believes staff are “more productive, more energetic, more full of ideas” when in the workplace with colleagues, he said in an interview with the Daily Mail.
He said: “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office. There will be lots of people who disagree with me, but I believe people are more productive, more energetic, more full of ideas when they are surrounded by other people. “
He also believes it will boost productivity as well as revive urban and urban centers.
However, data suggest that this may not be the case and that working from home has already proved its worth.
Indeed’s chief financial officer at Indeed, Jack Kennedy, told Sky News: “There are now more opportunities for people to stay local and work on a hybrid basis. ‘t see many high street visitors during the day.
“I by no means believe the office is dead, but we believe teleworking is a trend that has come to stay.”
Inside Downing Street number 10, cheese and coffee can be a distraction for the prime minister when he works, but landscape gardener Rachael Gildert, who was forced to set up a home office because of the pandemic, says she does not find herself “in need of a refrigerator”. “when she works.
She told Sky News: “I think I’m more productive when I work from home, I think my bosses think I’m more productive when I work from home. There are fewer distractions.
“I do not see the need to go back to the office, especially in terms of productivity and getting things done and being able to strike a balance between home and life, I very much prefer to be at home.”