Over 70% of people in Edinburgh want option to work from home after pandemic

More than 70% of people in Edinburgh want greater flexibility to work from home in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Elsa Maishman
Monday, 12th October 2020, 7:00 am
Picture: Charles Deluvio
Picture: Charles Deluvio

Responding to the Big Conversation Survey published by the Edinburgh Evening News in September, 72 per cent of people said it was ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for there to be less emphasis on office and site-based working in the wake of the pandemic, and more flexibility to work from home.

In addition, 83 per cent said they wanted to see action to shift the work/life balance in favour of family and leisure time.

As of September 28, when the survey closed, just 35 per cent of respondents said they would feel comfortable going into their place of work, while fewer than 28 per cent said they would be happy taking public transport.

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Respondents were also questioned about their personal finances, and 38 per cent said they were concerned about their job security or income from paid work, while 46 percent were concerned about their personal or household finances.

When asked how well they had adapted to doing things online during the pandemic, 86 per cent said they had adapted ‘well’ or ‘very well’, with 12 per cent saying they had not adapted well.

The most common reason selected for not adapting well to online activity was not having someone to turn to for help (43 per cent) and the second most common was not having the right electronic devices (22 per cent).

Ten per cent said they did not have a good enough internet connection at home.

Most respondents to the survey (62 per cent) were in paid work, while four per cent were on furlough and 26 per cent were not working.

Current Scottish Government guidance is for those who are able to work from home to continue doing so.

Several large international companies have indicated they may move to a more flexible homeworking arrangement in the wake of Covid-19.

Twitter has said that some employees can work from home permanently if they choose to. Microsoft announced on Friday that it will move to a blended model, where employees can choose to either work part of their time at home, or to apply for permission to work from home permanently.

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