To prevent the spread of Covid-19 there has been a sudden and dramatic shift in the location of work. Many workers have converted their bedrooms into offices, their living room tables into desks and their kitchens into places of work. This trend is happening across the world.
In their new report Homeworking the UK: Before and During the 2020 Lockdown, Alan Felstead of Cardiff University and Darja Reuschke of the University of Southampton provide up to date evidence on the scale of the shift of paid work into the home in the UK, its impact on the mental well-being and productivity of homeworkers, and the likely prevalence of homeworking after social distancing restrictions are fully lifted.
Some of the key findings of the report are summarized in this PrOPEL Hub Blog The Future of Homeworking and its Effect on Productivity.
The results suggest that, in general, many workers have got used to – and may even have experienced the benefits of – working at home after a shaky start. In addition, productivity has not been adversely affected by the shift towards homeworking. Furthermore, if those who want to continue working at home in the future are allowed to do so, productivity may be boosted by a sustained increase in the prevalence of homeworking as the strongest performers are those who are keenest to continue to work at home.The full report can be found here: https://wiserd.ac.uk/publications/homeworking-uk-and-during-2020-lockdown.
Darja Reuschke is an Associate Professor based at Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton.