One in four bosses claim staff working from home are less useful

WFH IS less productive: One in four bosses claim staff working from home are less useful than when in the office

  • As much as 24 per cent of businesses said there had been decrease in work rate
  • 12 per cent reported increase in output and 52 per cent said there was no change
  • The ONS survey suggests remote working may be swiftly withdrawn after Covid

Working from home is less productive as one in four bosses claim staff are less useful than when in the office, a study has said.

As much as 24 per cent of businesses said there had been a decrease in productivity when workers logged on from kitchen tables.

But just 12 per cent reported an increase in work rate and 52 per cent said there was no change, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The survey results suggest remote working may be swiftly withdrawn by bosses when government restrictions are relaxed.

As much as 24 per cent of businesses said there had been a decrease in productivity when workers logged on from kitchen tables (file photo)

Having a productive workforce is paramount for the prosperity of the country because it means wages and living standards can increase.

Yet before the coronavirus wave rolled in there were already problems with low productivity, with abandoned city centres appearing to exacerbate them.

A quarter of bosses across industries who have ramped up working from home during the crisis said productivity has gone down.

Meanwhile just over one in ten said it had gone up, while more than half said it had not impacted work output.

Only 19 per cent of companies are planning to keep working from home as a permanent business model going forward.

But a staggering 67 per cent said they did not intend to use increased homeworking as a permanent business model going forward.

The news may come as a blow for workers who prefer logging in from home rather than traipsing into the office each day.

Yet it could be a shot in the arm for the high street as it would increase footfall in city centres where many businesses have been ravaged by the work from home model.

The Office for National Statistics found ideas about working from home were very different depending on industry.

Over half of education workers say they expect remote working to be used more in the future.

But only 3.4 per cent of employees told the survey they have found it increase their productivity, with 13 per cent saying the opposite.

Meanwhile 40 per cent of people who work in information and communications expect to work from home more often.

This was closely followed by professional, scientific and technical firms and people working in the water and waste utilities.

Other industries seemed less keen, with no one who works in accommodation, food services, transport or storage saying they want to work from home.

And just one in 20 employees in the construction industry saying they want the current normal to continue.

Chief economist at Deloitte Ian Stewart told the Telegraph he is expecting an increase in working from home in the future.

But he said he doubts jobs will not go completely remote due to office working catalysing new ideas, as well as professional relationships.

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