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UK Government Opens The Way To Permanent Work-From-Home


The UK government is asking a business task force to advise on how working from home could become a permanent feature of office life.

The move follows last month’s consultation on how to strengthen the right to work from home and demonstrates a growing commitment from ministers to hybrid working.

The government is reviving a task force formed in 2018, but which has not met for more than a year, The Times reports.

A statement from labour markets minister Paul Skulley emphasised the “significant benefits” of working from home, including flexibility and improved productivity.

The government’s move comes on the same day as data from the Office for National Statistics that shows the extent to which working from home has grown, particularly in London.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, 65% of London adults under 65 years old were working from home. That figure has grown to 70%.

The West Midlands saw the biggest change from spring 2020 to spring 2021, rising from 31% to 41%. The North West remained stable at 42%.

Across the UK, the total increased only slightly from 47% to 48%.

Growing government enthusiasm for hybrid working has already led to innovative deals.

Earlier this month, IWG confirmed to Bisnow that a deal has been struck with the UK Civil Service to create flexible working hubs around the UK. IWG said a deal has been agreed, but it could give no details.

The scheme could involve as many as 10 hubs around the country providing workspace for civil servants when not at their usual desks. The arrangement focuses on the Department for Work and Pensions, whose workforce is distributed around the UK. 

The deal is likely to resemble that agreed between IWG and Standard Chartered, which allows the bank’s staff to use IWG offices as part of the mix of workplace and home-based hybrid working.