Education sector leads WFH drive with 51% planning it in future

Education sector leads WFH drive with 51% of businesses from independent schools, exam boards and private tutors planning to increase the amount of their staff working from home

  • Figures show major changes Covid crisis is having across the education sector 
  • Just under a fifth of business across economy plan to increase WFH in future 
  • Most said this was to improve wellbeing, and 55% said reduced costs were factor

The education sector is leading the working from home drive with 51% of independent schools, exam boards and private tutors planning to increase the amount of staff working from home. 

The figures from the Office of National Statistics do not cover state schools or universities, but give an indication of how coronavirus has led to major changes across the sector in a way that will increasingly affect teachers, pupils and students. 

Overall, just under a fifth of business across the whole economy plan to increase the number of staff working at home in the future, although 67% said they didn’t and the rest did not commit either way. 

Industries across the UK are looking to increase their ability for staff to work remotely

Overall, just under a fifth of business across the whole economy plan to increase the number of staff working at home in the future, the ONS found 

Of the reasons businesses gave for encouraging homeworking, 60% said employee wellbeing, 55% reduced office costs and 34% increased productivity.  

For those against making the change, 66% said it was not suitable for their businesses and 10% believed it had harmed communication between staff. 

The three sectors most likely to plan to send more staff home were science and technology (41%), water and sewage management (38%) and jobs involved in administration or customer service (21%). 

Around 15% of manufactures plan to base more workers at home, but virtually no companies in the food, transport or storage industries planned to do this. 

The research was carried out from September 7 to September 20, meaning it finished just two days before Boris Johnson u-turned to call a halt to home working after a rise in infections. 

The Prime Minister scrapped plans to get more employees back in to their workplace to help revive the economy and instead told them that they should work from home if they could.

The move left firms scrambling to reverse plans to return thousands of staff to their offices.

Within hours of the announcement, Barclays said that 1,000 workers who had gone back in recent weeks would now revert to working from home.

Of the reasons businesses gave for encouraging homeworking, 60% said employee wellbeing, 55% reduced office costs and 34% increased productivity. File photo  

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