Over half of Yorkshire cannot work remotely amid coronavirus

Flexible working is a perk that would benefit most UK employees, yet only a third (34%) of workers located in Yorkshire are provided the option by their employer.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson stated that up to fifth of UK workers 'could be off sick at same time' due to the coronavirus outbreak, but if the majority of the UK population had the option to work remotely, the worst case scenario might not be necessary.

Over half of Yorkshire cannot work remotely amid coronavirus

Over half of Yorkshire cannot work remotely amid coronavirus

A recent study conducted by flexible workspace experts Flexioffices questioned 2,000 UK workers about the ‘work perks’ they receive, what they think of them and the benefits they experience from them.

With over one in 10 workers in Yorkshire applying for their job because of flexitime, as well as the same amount considering leaving their role if it were to be taken away, the study comes at a convenient time.

The top benefits stated by Yorkshire workers who have flexible working are those that benefit their employer. Over a third stated they enjoy work more and they are more productive (34%), and over a quarter stated they were less stressed (27%) and their company provides great perks (26%), surely that’s reason enough for employers to consider the approach on a more permanent basis.

Other personal benefits employees expressed as a result of remote working were that over a quarter get to spend more time with their family (27%), 24 per cent feel valued and 19 per cent said it saves them money.

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Currently the cities that have the most flexible working are Edinburgh with four in ten people surveyed from the Scottish tourist destination stating they have it, followed by Leeds (35%), Liverpool (34%) and London (33%) with over a third of workers enjoying this perk. Sheffield comes in at 7th position offering it to only 29 per cent of the city’s workers. The cities with the lowest amount of flexible working available are Glasgow and Newcastle with less than a quarter (23%) of people having flexible freedom.

But Yorkshire as a region comes in first in terms of how many workers stated they are able to from home at 34 per cent, it is followed by the North East and North West both at 33 per cent, as well as the UK’s most progressive city and capital, London at just 31 per cent.

Zoë Morris, President at Mason Frank International said: "Our opinion of what a good work-life balance looks like has changed a lot in the past few years. Job seekers today are striving for greater freedom to fit work around other priorities, often prioritizing these kinds of perks over higher salaries.

"There are so many reasons why employers should consider offering flexible working and attracting and retaining great talent is just one of them. It can also play a massive part in making today’s workplaces more diverse and inclusive.

"We recently conducted a survey of tech professionals in which we asked about the kind of benefits participants received, and which were most valuable to them. We found that women were more likely to be sold on a job that offered flexible and home working than their male peers. In sectors like tech, providing benefits like flexible working can help businesses attract more female professionals, it also helps tackle the burgeoning skills shortages that many STEM industries are currently facing by bringing in fresh talent.”

Other additional benefits Yorkshire’s remote workers identified were that more than a quarter felt healthier (26%), 23 per cent have a better social life and 21 per cent save more time. Now would be the time for companies to address this policy, not just in case of an emergency like the Covid-19 epidemic but to address the work-life balance the UK’s workforce increasingly struggles with.

Michael Dubicki, Business Director from Flexioffices said: “Our research indicates it’s time for employers to re-think how they approach remote working and for a lot of companies this will mean a culture change.

"We take a person-centred approach when working with our partners to find their perfect working environment. We believe providing appropriate perks is a great way to show your team you value them.”