Remote working revolution gathers momentum among UK employees

In what is a loud and clear message to the UK’s employers, research by Randstad, shows that just over a third of UK employees (35%) still want to work in the office every day of the week.

In further proof that the traditional office-based work culture is now losing its appeal, more than six in 10 (62%) of the 8,100 UK employees polled by Randstad in its annual survey* said they would like to work from home at least occasionally.

Globally, the figure was much the same: of the 200,000+ survey respondents across 25 countries covering 75% of the global economy, nearly two thirds (64%) said they would like to work remotely at least occasionally. 

But working from home occasionally clearly isn’t enough for some Britons: not only did 14% of UK survey respondents say they would like to work from home every day of the week, but this figure rose to 18% for people aged 45-65 — compared to just 13% for people aged 25-44.

the remote working revolution: uk v global employees

Working Preference UK Employees (8,100 respondents) Global Employees [200,000+ respondents]

  • Work in the office every work day:  (35%) [34%]
  • Work remotely occasionally: (34%) [38%]
  • Work remotely a fixed number of days a week:  (14%) [15%]
  • Work remotely every working day of the week:   (14%) [11%]

Understandably, given the stage of their careers, a smaller percentage of UK respondents aged 18-24 (11%) said they would like to work from home all the time. Globally, by contrast, just 8% of people aged 18-24 said they would prefer to work from home all the time.

Meanwhile, 14% of UK employees also said they would like to work remotely a fixed number of days a week. This rose to 20% for respondents aged 18-24, suggesting the remote working mentality is taking root most among the younger generation.

But working remotely is clearly not enough for today’s employees. The Randstad survey also revealed that well over half (58%) of Brits would like to work flexible hours rather than a standard hours working week. This might involve working longer days and shorter weeks or flexible work days every week.
Randstad CEO, Jacques van den Broek, commented:

“The UK work environment, like workplaces globally, is changing at a rate of knots. Employees increasingly want to work remotely and they also want their hours to be flexible. The UK’s employers, especially the larger ones that can be slower to adapt, need to sit up and take note if they are to remain attractive in the eyes of today’s employees.

"It’s becoming increasingly clear that companies that don’t evolve their work cultures and philosophies in line with changing consumer attitudes could soon find they’re left behind.”


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