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Covid-19 to have lasting impact on workplace, survey says

Covid-19 to have lasting impact on workplace, survey says

Tuesday 30 March 2021

Covid-19 to have lasting impact on workplace, survey says

Tuesday 30 March 2021

The long-term impact of covid-19 is likely to include more employees working from home, a significant reduction in business travel, and more businesses considering whether to employ staff who live and work from home in other jurisdictions, according to a survey from Walkers.

The law firm recently polled senior HR professionals and business leaders during a three-day virtual employment conference on "Covid-19 and the evolution of the workplace."

The survey suggested that:

  • 79% of respondents say that when borders reopen business travel will reduce significantly and will be just for key meetings.
  • 54% will offer flexible working after the pandemic is over, 36% will require a minimum numbers of days in the office and 17% will be fully flexible.
  • 51% would consider employing someone working remotely in a foreign jurisdiction, provided it was a suitable person in a suitable role.
  • 60% would consider recruiting someone who would, from the start of their employment, be working in a foreign jurisdiction.
  • 62% consider employee well-being the biggest challenge of covid-19 - more than IT, regulatory risk, recruitment and travel restrictions combined.

Sarah Ash (pictured), Senior Counsel in Walkers' Guernsey employment law team, said that the results supported the idea that covid-19 would have an ongoing impact on the workplace, even after restrictions had been lifted.

"The conversations that we have been having with clients and the nature of the matters that we are being instructed on all suggest that workplaces will not entirely return to how they used to operate – and the results of the polls that we ran in our conference would support that," she said.

"It is interesting to see how open many businesses are to reacting to that and to changing the way that they work to accommodate the new expectations and requirements both of staff and of clients or customers."

Daniel Read, Senior Counsel in the Jersey employment law team, added: "We are getting close to the point at which there will be a moment for employers of all kinds to pause and reflect on the experience of the last 12 months, to consider what worked well and what worked less well, and to update the way that they undertake planning, communication and their working practices."

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