UK Trends in Remote Work in 2022
The shift to remote work is accelerating. More and more big players are making the transition to a distributed workforce. And as more companies begin to hire globally, prospective talent will choose the organizations that offer an appealing team culture, flexible payment options, and flexible lifestyles.
At Deel, we’ve had an eye on the global trend of remote work. Here are notable companies around the UK that have recently adopted a remote-first, hybrid, or flexible working model.
PwC declared a flexible working policy in April 2021, with 22,000 UK workers allowed to spend between 40–60% of their time working from home. The audit firm also experimented with giving Friday afternoons off in the summer.
After a successful adoption of remote working during the pandemic, Deloitte announced it would completely embrace “ultra-flexible” work for its 20,000 employees in the UK. The audit firm is letting workers choose when, where, and how they want to work to best support their clients, with no requirements to be at the office.
With the majority of UK staff at KPMG saying they preferred to work remotely in a March 2021 survey, the auditor announced a flexible working arrangement, where its 16,000 staff could spread out four days of office work over two weeks. The policy has since scaled back to four days of office work over one week.
Engineer consultancy firm Arup transitioned to a hybrid working model they termed “Work Unbound”. 6,000 staff are allowed to work flexibly on any day of the week, including weekends. Remote work is now allowed, though the company will continue to operate with office work—two days each week are to be spent at one of Arup’s offices.
After consultation with its 55,000 employees, the UK outsourcing provider announced in March 2021 that it would be allowing a hybrid work model. The majority of workers will be allowed to spend most of their time working remotely. The company is planning to offload office space by 25%.
In March 2021, the airline wrote to staff announcing that it would accelerate plans to offer more flexible work arrangements. Employees will be allowed to split their time between home and the office.
British bank NatWest Group promised to provide hybrid and remote working opportunities to its employees where possible. About 13% of staff would need to work mostly from the office.
In April 2021, the bank allowed its 1,200 UK call center staff to permanently work from home.
In January 2021, the CEO of UK-based Unilever declared that its workers would never return to their desks full-time. It’s been piloting different working models in various countries since, with a goal to offer all employees with “flexible employment options by 2030”. Current pilot models include “U-Work”, where workers have flexible assignments; “U-Renew”, where workers can take time to change career paths; and hybrid working arrangements such as a four-day workweek.
UK construction firm Wates adopted a company-wide flexible working policy for its 4,000 workers. It introduced a set of Flexible Working Principles that state all workers should be able to achieve their work-life balance, regardless of where they work.
The British supermarket chain confirmed a permanent hybrid working model for its head office staff in July 2021. Under their model called ‘Work where it works,’ there is no expectation for how many days will need to be at the office.
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Elsewhere around the world
In a public memo, the fintech company went remote-first, noting that it was time to embrace how the internet can enable the future of work.
Coinbase formed a cross-functional team in May 2020 to spur a remote-first strategy. Most employees will have the option to work outside the office if desired.
Dropbox published its strategy for remote work in October 2020. Its “Virtual First” principles will make remote work the default for individual work, with “non-linear workdays” encouraging flexible schedules.
The Canadian e-commerce platform became a “digital by default” company in May 2020, with workers working remotely on a permanent basis. With more than 6,000 staff now working from home, the company says the policy will help them meet their net-zero carbon emissions goal.
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