Main article takeaways:
- Over a quarter of UK office workers would take a pay cut to work from home all the time
- Women are driven to work from home due to household and family responsibilities
- Spending more time with family is the main incentive for men to work from home
- Over a third of Generation Z want to make the switch to working from home
Latest research figures show that UK workers would rather work from home than return to the office. Over a quarter (27%) are willing to take a pay cut to switch permanently. These figures show that workers in the UK are putting their mental wellbeing above pay following the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Hitachi Capital UK’s survey, office workers in the UK say that they are prepared to take an 8% pay cut on average to work permanently at home. A small few (2%) are willing to take up to a 20% pay cut. The younger generation, most notedly Generation Z, prefer this working model, with over a third (39%) wanting to change.
The stress of balancing household and family responsibilities alongside working in an office is seemingly fuelling this change, with half of women respondents deciding to work from home (49%) because of it. For a third of men (34%), spending time with family is the key incentive to work from home.
Theresa Lindsay, Group Marketing Director at Hitachi Capital UK PLC says: “The pandemic has led to a seismic shift in the way people want to work in order to effectively manage their work and home life commitments. It’s clear that the majority of employees have adapted very well to remote working whilst actually enhancing productivity.
“Moving forward, our research clearly shows that the clamour for flexible working is so pronounced that many employees are even prepared to sacrifice their salary to achieve a better work-life balance in the long term.”
However, some workers want to return to the office as they fear missing out on socialisation. The report says that socialising with colleagues is the biggest factor for returning to the office in Scotland (32%) and London (28%). In the North East, their biggest driver is greater productivity (50%).
Yorkshire and the North East are also the readiest to return to the office, with 21% saying so in the survey. This is due to the office environment and access to a conventional desk space will allow them to increase focus and productivity. Conversely, Northern Ireland (37%), West Midlands (35%) and the South West (31%) are the strongest supporters of hybrid working.
Sophia Waterfield is a freelance journalist covering social affairs, technology, healthcare and lifestyle. Her byline appears in outlets such as Newsweek, Sun Online, Wired UK, New Scientist, Independent and more. She also runs The Calm Room Ltd.—a social change company that provides advocacy, communication and consulting services to people and businesses in the UK.