Jason Morris: Scotland leads in homeworking flexibility

Jason Morris: Scotland leads in homeworking flexibility

Jason Morris

Jason Morris, regional market leader at PwC Scotland, comments on the latest Office for National Statistics figures revealing that Scotland saw the biggest increase in homeworking of all UK regions between January and March this year, compared with pre-pandemic levels.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that Scotland saw the biggest increase in homeworking of all UK regions between January and March this year, compared with pre-pandemic levels.

With an additional half a million people working from home, Scotland has seen an increase of almost 204 per cent.

Our survey of more than 2,000 UK employees demonstrated that two thirds [66%] of the respondents who are able to work remotely are currently doing so all or most of the time are currently working remotely all or most of the time. Sixty-two per cent highlighted they would opt for a mix of in-office and remote working, while just under one third [31%] said they would prefer fully remote working.  

The mindset of the workforce has changed drastically over the last few years. Temporary solutions to business problems, such as hybrid working, have turned into employee preferences and expectations. Gone is the time when there was uniform agreement on what ‘work’ means and looks like. 

But not all employees are able to carry out hybrid or homeworking, including 46 per cent of those we surveyed as part of our research. Industries like hospitality, travel, care and retail require people in restaurants, on planes, and so on. Our findings show these types of employees report less satisfaction with their jobs than those in hybrid or fully remote environments. On the flip side, a quarter of those working completely remotely expressed concerns about being overlooked for developmental opportunities.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, as different businesses and different industries have different needs. Realigning employers’ and employees’ needs on flexibility and work life balance will be key going forward; however, it’s important to look at the entire employee proposition in the context of hybrid, fully remote or fully on-site - including engagement, progression, scope for training and overall reward. This is all critical to bring stability back into the economy.

Our own people in Scotland, and around the firm, benefit from ‘The Deal’, which recognises that the world of work has changed and that we all have a unique set of skills, circumstances and priorities. It’s our commitment to supporting our people and responding to changing working patterns, built on two-way flexibility and trust.

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