As we enter the new year and pin our hopes onto 2021, we will still be starting the year in full pandemic swing. With more and more regions of the country entering strict Tier 4 lockdowns, it seems as though we will not be returning to pre-pandemic ways of life anytime soon. Especially in our working habits.
New Working Habits
One of the many ways that Brits’ habits have changed this year is with regards to work, with home offices, kitchen table workspaces, homeschooling and endless ‘office’ hours now the norm. With this, many working Brits have seen work in a new light. Future Strategy Club (FSC) – a creative consulting agency that helps talented individuals take the first step towards consultancy work and self-employment – has commissioned nationally representative data across 2,076 Brits to find out what they now want from work.
Work Life Balance
The research discovered that over half of working Brits – 52% or 13.7 million – feel closer to their family following the pandemic. As such, they have enjoyed a better work-life balance after working at home for months and want to continue to do so in some capacity in the future. In a similar vein, 40% of Brits – 11.4 million people – say the pandemic has made them realise what a poor work-life balance they had pre-lockdown and they will not return to it after COVID.
The pandemic has been a time for employers to demonstrate their leadership skills and managerial styles, for the good and the bad. Whilst many have proven their generosity, or their commitment to supporting staff, some employees have felt unsupported. According to this study, 23% of British parents say their employer was unsympathetic to them having to manage childcare around work during the COVID period.
The Rise of the Freelancer
For freelancers in certain sectors, the pandemic period has been a godsend, allowing them to find work easily, work flexibly, and find consistency. In fact, freelancing has become so popular that 60% of Brits believe the workplace of the future will have to change drastically for the better to avoid losing its best talent to freelancing and consulting. This is supported in the same study with 34% of Brits saying that the COVID pandemic has encouraged them to look towards consultancy and freelance work or start their own business.
Justin Small, CEO and Founder of Future Strategy Club, says “it wouldn’t be surprising if 2021 becomes the year of the mass exodus from the 9-5 and towards self-employment.”