A piece of cake, another rummage in the fridge – for Boris Johnson, it’s all too tempting to work from home.
In a renewed appeal, the prime minister wants the country to return to the office and scrap telecommuting.
But is his argument for getting Britons back to office correct? And how do people who have been used to ‘WFH’ for two years now feel?
Take in the mill town of Burnley Lancashire† In fact, according to data published by Zoom earlier this week, it is the second best area in the UK to recruit from home.
Since March 2020, the number of jobs that allow people to work remotely has increased by 391% and are being hired in the area.
Dave Walker runs +24 Marketing. He has established a hybrid work plan for his workforce, and he says the shift from most of his business to remote working has allowed him to attract staff from further afield.
Therefore, he thinks the Prime Minister’s comments are not “progressive”.
He told Sky News: “Realistically it comes down to culture and if you have that strong and positive culture in the organization that you work in, then your team that works – wherever they are – will work hard and consistently and they will” don’t notice that they go to the fridge to eat more cheese.”
While many of his employees work from home, Dave believes there’s still “value in having an office.”
“We’re flexible and we have team days when everyone is in the office, I think that really helps with the creativity,” he said.
“The scenario of working from home was not a big challenge for us as a company. In fact, we have seen many benefits.”
Boris Johnson believes that employees are “more productive, energetic, more full of ideas” when they are in the workplace with colleagues, he said in an interview with the Daily Mail.
He said: “We need to get back into the habit of going to the office. There will be a lot of people who will disagree with me, but I believe that people are more productive, energetic and full of ideas when they are surrounded by other people.”
He also believes it will increase productivity and revive city centers.
However, data suggests that may not be the case and working from home is already proving its worth.
Jack Kennedy, chief of economics at the job search site Indeed, told Sky News: “There are now more opportunities for people to stay local and work on a hybrid basis. That really helps rejuvenate some areas that used to be commuter towns and don’t see them during the day.” not many high street visitors.
“I don’t think the office is dead, but we think remote working is a trend that’s here to stay.”
At number 10 Downing Street, cheese and coffee can be a distraction for the prime minister when he’s on the job, but landscape gardener Rachael Gildert, who has been forced to set up a home office because of the pandemic, says she doesn’t notice she’s “attracted to the fridge” when she is at work.
She told Sky News: “I think I am more productive when I work from home, I think my bosses think I am more productive when I work from home. There is less distraction.
“I don’t see the need to go back to the office, especially when it comes to productivity and getting things done and balancing private life. I’d much rather be at home.”