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North East workers who don’t want to return to the office could miss out on promotion

Nicky Jolley, managing director of HR2day

Darlington-based HR expert, Nicky Jolley has warned that many of the one in four workers in the North East who do not want to return to the office when lockdown ends risk missing out on promotion.

Recent data released by Deloitte revealed that as many as a quarter of North East workers would like to continue working from home on a permanent basis. The survey showed that an equal number are enthusiastic about returning to the office. However, almost half of those asked would prefer a mix of home and office-based working.

Pointing to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Nicky Jolley, managing director of HR2day warns that choosing to work from home long-term could cost employees a promotion: “People have become accustomed to the reduced commute to work as well as the luxury that working from home brings. It isn’t surprising that almost three quarters of people would want to continue to work from home in some capacity, even when lockdown restrictions are completely lifted.

“However, data from the ONS shows that those who continue to work from home could lose out on promotions, as well as missing out on employee bonuses and paid overtime.”

The report released by the ONS showed that, in recent years, people working from home were 38 per cent less likely to have received a bonus than their office-based colleague. It also highlighted the high levels of unpaid work undertaken by homeworkers.

Nicky continued: “Businesses should want their workers to be successful, wherever they are working, and should listen to each person’s preference before making any definite decisions. Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs and can help to bridge the gap between those that want to be in the office and those that want to work from home. However, there are challenges for managers that need to adapt to the flexible working environment and learn how to optimise their staff’s time, while ensuring that those who operate remotely have access to the same benefits and opportunities as those in the office.”