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Increasing numbers of UK staff joining the remote working revolution

More than a third of UK employees prefer to work in an office but almost two thirds said they would work from home

In a clear message to UK employers, the latest research from recruitment firm Randstad has revealed that employees are leaning more and more towards flexible working. This means traditional attitudes towards office work are beginning to wane with 62% of the 8,100 employees surveyed revealing they would consider working from home some of the time.

A similar pattern was revealed worldwide with 64% saying they would consider remote working at least occasionally.

The results are part of the annual Randstad Award which surveys more than 200,000 workers across 25 countries, covering 75% of the global economy.

In the UK, a significant number of workers (14%) said they would prefer to work from home every day. This figure increased to 18% for those aged 45 to 65 compared to just 13% for those aged 25 to 44 which seems to indicate that older generations appear to favour a more flexible work/life balance.

Remote working differences in the UK and abroad

Working Preference – UK Employees (8,100 respondents)/ Global Employees
[200,000+ respondents]

  • Work in the office every work day:  (35%) [34%]
  • Work remotely occasionally: (34%) [38%]
  • Work remotely a fixed number of days a week: (14%) [15%]
  • Work remotely every working day of the week: (14%) [11%]

Worldwide, just 8% of 18 to 24-year-olds wanted to work from home all the time, perhaps preferring an office environment and the social interaction which comes with it.

However, a fifth of younger UK workers said they would like to work at home for a fixed number of days a week, which seems to imply young UK workers favour a combination of both the home and office environments.

Many workers however, also expressed a desire for flexible working, whether that was longer days and shorter weeks or working flexible hours on every day of the week. More than half (58%) said they would prefer flexible hours over set hours.

Randstad CEO, Jacques van den Broek, comments:

“The UK work environment, like workplaces globally, is changing at a rate of knots. Employees increasingly want to work remotely and they also want their hours to be flexible. The UK’s employers, especially the larger ones that can be slower to adapt, need to sit up and take note if they are to remain attractive in the eyes of today’s employees.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that companies that don’t evolve their work cultures and philosophies in line with changing consumer attitudes could soon find they’re left behind.”

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