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How are you responding to the lifting of Plan B restrictions?

Steve Bridger

| 0 Posts

Community Manager

20 Jan, 2022 10:44

As you will all know, there is new Government guidance for England, i.e. "You are no longer asked to work from home if you can. Talk to your employer to agree arrangements to return to your workplace." What is your approach?

We're all used to the fluid nature of all this, and while some employers will be able to pivot fairly straightforwardly, others may find the removal of Plan B restrictions bring with it new (or renewed?) challenges. 

At CIPD, we're suggesting a measured, hybrid approach for wellbeing, productivity & engagement.

I would welcome your comments on how you're managing this latest change; do you welcome it? Do your employees? Has it been particularly challenging to care for your workforce and make 'fair' decisions at a time of rapid change?

A couple of Guides you may find useful...

CIPD guide with advice for line managers on supporting and enabling hybrid working, including discussing hybrid working within teams.

Updated COVID-19: managing workplace safety guide

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  • Hi Steve, the guidance is still slightly different in Scotland so we are taking a measured approach and likely to phase back slowly (where we are not already working on site). We have been consulting on a new model of Hybrid Working over the past 6 months or so, now at the stage of proposing the ability to request hybrid working. Fair to say we have had a range of mixed reactions from staff who are very keen to work hybrid (where the job allows it) to those who would really prefer all or nothing....and still working on some managers who think "if I can't see them at their desk/work, they aren't performing"!
  • Before Plan B was introduced in December we had all been back working in the office for quite some time. We did work from home due to Plan B but when the announcement was made yesterday, staff were asked to return to the office this morning unless they had a particular issue caused by the short notice (e.g. childcare) in which case they should speak with their line manager. Only a couple of people needed to remain wfh and everyone else came in. To be honest there was some disgruntlement (I think people might have preferred to return on Monday) but the business has been facing extremely challenging times due to the pandemic and it has been exacerbated by working from home; team dynamics and communication have been really affected despite our best efforts to maintain good interaction and having all the technology! I don’t actually think there’s a right or wrong way, every business has its own circumstances to deal with; but for us we did what we had to do.
  • I'm concerned that the "hybrid" approach being taken by some employers is, as it were, the worst of both worlds. The expectation that people be in the office for "at least X days per week" means you still need office space to accommodate at least most of your workforce and discourages people from adapting to remote working that serves to undermine the effectiveness and productivity gains that remote working offers white collar employees and knowledge workers. As a result, it leaves remote-working employees isolated and out of the loop and incentivizes office working at the expense of remote.

    Despite the experience of the last two years, I'm shocked at how many organizations have simply refused to learn the lessons of remote working: that it isn't just normal work, but at home. It has a different set of demands and expectations to achieve its potential, to make sure remote workers feel engaged and productive.

    What infuriates me is that all of the evidence tells business leaders that remote working achieves better outcomes at lower cost, is better for overall mental health, reduces traffic on the roads and demands on other transport infrastructure and overall makes our lives and world better, but all of these benefits are being swept away in the rush to return to normal through a combination of willful ignorance on the part of leaders who simply can't imagine having to lead differently and intentional duplicity from a global financial infrastructure too invested in the status quo (particularly, but not exclusively, investments in commercial property) to be prepared to pivot towards a new model of human existence.

    As a contractor, I've worked in a lot of different businesses over the course of the pandemic, from start to finish. And I've seen a different approach at every step. By *far* the best results have been seen in those organizations that have seen remote working not as a temporary inconvenience that must be reluctantly and half-heartedly adopted, but as a new opportunity to expand their operations, reduce pressures on employees, improve benefits and increase productivity and profitability.

    I am, frankly, worried that this incredible opportunity to re-set how we think about work in a transformational way is going to be sacrificed to vested interests in the status quo. And the CIPD's official position is a little disappointing.

    I am very much inclined to take the position, in the future, that I simply won't take contracts that mandate a minimum quantity of office time. I don't expect to work 100% from home. I am more than happy to do my time on the road or in a meeting room when the situation calls for it. But being expected to turn up to the office and sit at a desk once or twice a week simply so I can be seen to be doing so is spectacularly patronizing and counter-productive.
  • In reply to Robey:

    Hi Robey

    I take a different view (and one probably closer to Nicola)

    I don’t think the evidence is very clear (yet) that WFH makes people more productive or produce better outcomes. I appreciate many employees like it, but I wouldn’t say that employees are always best placed to assess their own productivity. We are still in a state of flux with Covid, I personally don’t expect the world to return to a steady state for another year or two, and it will take time to accurately assess the effect on productivity.

    I’m proud of how my company and my colleagues reacted to Covid with a large percentage having to adapt to WFH at no notice, but in the complicated product environment that my company works in, as many of my project managers will testify, work has become more complicated and productivity has been affected.

    Where a project manager could previously walk around the office and grab 7-8 key people from different departments to get them all in a room together to look at/handle and discuss a physical product and resolve an issue in 30 mins (and with useful side discussions going on between people in that room), with some people working remotely (tied up in other Teams meetings), this type of meeting dynamic cannot be replicated via Teams/Zoom, we can’t always get people together, and the task that could be 30 mins in a meeting room can easily turn into an email workflow with the same stakeholders that can take hours or sometimes days to resolve.

    I am personally more productive in the office because I need the dynamic of social interaction – I might process more emails and transactional items whilst WFH, but I need those interactions in the office that you I don't believe you can recreate via Teams/Zoom and this is where I really add value in my role.

    The population I think that are losing out the most from this fixation with hybrid/home working are the new generation of workers – the apprentices and graduates, where those first few years at the start of their career are critical. Not just for learning on the job, shadowing, etc. but learning how to interact in meetings/building relationships/ understanding body language & social cues/working with different generations and cultures/ office politics. They will not learn this as well from remote working (and even hybrid can hinder this development).

    Humans are still social animals and need (some) face to face contact - do any of us still prefer ‘Zoom drinks’ to getting together in a pub/restaurant?

    I must confess I personally am rather frustrated with the continuous discussions and focus around those that have the luxury of possible WFH, with those people in roles without the opportunity to do so seemingly not given a second thought - the very people that kept the country going through the Covid crisis and at great cost and personal risk – those working on the NHS frontline, supermarkets, factories, care homes, public transport, retail etc. It’s coming across to me as a rather middle class obsession for those of us in white collar roles fortunate enough to have a decent office set up at home

    And these discussions never seem to properly take into account what the business wants or needs to function effectively and deliver to its customers. If our businesses don’t function properly, most of us will be out of a job, so we need the voice of business more in these discussions, without them being pilloried for having a view the majority currently disagree with – google Dyson & work from home.

    I don’t think the world will return to the status quo of full time office working when this is all over– as Nicola says, companies will take different approaches depending on their own requirements. For some this could be fully remote, others hybrid, others full time office, or a mix of them all. And it's the same for employees - some of us will work most effectively remotely, some hybrid, some (like me) being full time in the office.

    And fundamentally, employees have a choice – if they don’t like what their company is doing, there will be plenty of options that do match their requirements/preferences elsewhere

    Joe
  • In reply to Robey:

    Hi Robey, you make some great thought provoking points. It is really important to take a step back and challenge ourselves on why we all need to be physically in the same place. We have run a lot of focus groups during the pandemic and again whilst looking a hybrid working as a standard type of flexible working (rather than as a response to a pandemic) and time and again the feeling of being together physically comes up. We've had folk who are really content to work at home "permanently" still expressing concern about contact, communication, general team-working. I totally agree that expecting someone to spend a percentage of time in the workplace for no other reason than to demonstrate "presenteeism" is totally the wrong approach. We are very far from getting it right, but we have spent a lot of time thinking and challenging ourselves about why we might want to have a general rule of x days on campus when in theory (as we have proved in the last 2 years) the work CAN be carried out at home. For us it's a sense of belonging as a community and engaging with students and staff in a variety of ways so that we optimise the benefit of both styles of working and provide a fully effective service. (That sounds very fluffy and right-on but I am struggling to put it into better words!). I agree we need to work harder at engaging remote staff and "hybrid teams". I would not want to work anywhere now where the choice is "either or" home/work full time but I would want to understand the rationale behind both my preference for spending some time in the office and the organisation's rationale. I agree this is a good opportunity to rethink and reset. Thanks for giving me something to ponder on. Robey!
  • In reply to Joe :

    I agree with everything you've said Joe! My company produces food, would those who have spent two years worrying about their hybrid working policy would like to have had to do so without food? So yes, there are many many people who cannot WFH and for whom if I'm honest it seems to me our professional body forgets about.

    In a fast moving business producing fast moving goods, we don't have the luxury of time. Quick unscheduled chats are the norm and often lead to immediate changes of priority as the world changes around us.

    That being said, I strongly feel that we've always acted with people's safety and best interests at heart and enable a degree of hybrid working where possible if it works for the business and is desired by the individual.
  • In reply to Joe :

    I don’t think the evidence is very clear (yet) that WFH makes people more productive or produce better outcomes

    Yesit is.

    this type of meeting dynamic cannot be replicated via Teams/Zoom

    It can be replicated as easily as it can in a physical office. If everyone is present and available to meet, they will meet. If people are out of the office, getting lunch, in the toilet, off sick or on holiday, you can't do it. But with remote working, in a real emergency, even people who are on holiday or off sick can be brought into a meeting (not that I encourage that for anything other real, proper emergencies, I hasten to add).

    And no, of course you can't all handle a physical product. But you can more quickly and easily share digital products, images, screenshares and videos in a digital meeting than you can in a physical one when you've all left your computers to move to a conference room. So, swings and roundabouts.

    Humans are still social animals and need (some) face to face contact

    And because we spend so much time in the office, we mistake this for socialization and neglect our families, communities, churches, sports teams, hobby groups and political associations. We prioritize a social life with people we are forced to congregate with rather than with people who share our passions and with whom we would otherwise choose to socialize. I'm not saying you can't make friends at work. But I am saying that work isn't the place most of us would choose to make friends if we had an alternative.

    I must confess I personally am rather frustrated with the continuous discussions and focus around those that have the luxury of possible WFH, with those people in roles without the opportunity to do so seemingly not given a second thought - the very people that kept the country going through the Covid crisis and at great cost and personal risk

    I work in the NHS. Not long ago I was actually working directly with frontline healthcare workers (my role now is a bit more strategic). You'd be amazed how many of them were working from home. Yes, even clinical staff. But this is a specious argument. Of course production line workers, manufacturing technicians, medical staff, retail staff and dozens of others aren't in a position to work from home on a regular basis. But, first, this argument isn't about them - it's about the people who could work from home. Should those people be forced to travel to a workplace just because retail workers have to do so? Where's the logic in that argument? Second, I'm sure these people would be delighted to have their morning commute lightened by the removal of the roughly 60% of UK workers who could work from home; third, this argument shuts down the point that many of these workers could do some of their work from home if there were a culture that supported this option; and fourth, it prevents technology moving forward that would allow more of this work to be automated (which, again, studies show would increase the number of jobs in the economy, not reduce it) as long as it just assumed that people will travel to work.

    these discussions never seem to properly take into account what the business wants or needs to function effectively and deliver to its customers

    Well, first of all forgive me if I prioritize the needs of people over businesses. /s But as already mentioned, this is a win-win scenario. It is (as previously indicated) a well-established fact that businesses do better when more people work from home. Would you like me to point out the areas of economic growth during the pandemic? If we worked from home and had the freedom to socialize outside of work, then even those industries that struggled in the pandemic (like hospitality, where I also used to work) would enjoy a boom.

    we need the voice of business more in these discussions, without them being pilloried for having a view the majority currently disagree with

    The voices of industry are entirely loud enough already in this (and every other) debate. And what eludes all common sense is that business leaders are actively fighting to do their own profits a disservice by seeking to return to the office culture (and don't be fooled by "hybrid" working - as mentioned in my original post, this is just a way of disincentivizing remote working by failing to adapt to the cultural change needed to make it work effectively).

    It's almost as if business leaders are more interested in preserving their status and right to exercise direct and immediate control over their subordinates than they are in the best interests of even their shareholders - let alone their employees!

  • Johanna

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    21 Jan, 2022 16:24

    In reply to Annabel:

    There's some further info on the CIPD viewpoint here Annabel with acknowledgement that many workers don't work from home, but that adopting more flexible working practices more generally is key:

    'More action is needed to increase the uptake of flexible working arrangements to create more inclusive, diverse and productive workplaces that suit both the needs of organisations and individuals.

    Our research suggests that UK workers are facing inequality due to a stark difference in employers offering flexible working practices, with just under half (46%) of employees saying they do not have flexible working arrangements in their current role.

    While the Coronavirus pandemic has driven an increase in working from home, 44% of employees have not worked from home at all during this period. With working from home being just one of several flexible working arrangements employers can offer, 75% of employees agree it is important that people who can’t work from home can work flexibly in other ways.' www.cipd.co.uk/.../viewpoint
  • In reply to Robey:

    It can be replicated as easily as it can in a physical office. If everyone is present and available to meet, they will meet. If people are out of the office, getting lunch, in the toilet, off sick or on holiday, you can't do it. But with remote working, in a real emergency, even people who are on holiday or off sick can be brought into a meeting (not that I encourage that for anything other real, proper emergencies, I hasten to add).

    I’ve just given an example where it doesn’t work as well, and my Project Managers tell me it’s not working as well. Nicola and Annabel have shared similar experiences. And this isn’t about bringing people in when it’s an emergency, this is day to day business in my company.


    And no, of course you can't all handle a physical product. But you can more quickly and easily share digital products, images, screenshares and videos in a digital meeting than you can in a physical one when you've all left your computers to move to a conference room. So, swings and roundabouts.

    Some companies need to work in 3D. And you can share images just as easily in a conference room, that’s what laptops are for.


    And because we spend so much time in the office, we mistake this for socialization and neglect our families, communities, churches, sports teams, hobby groups and political associations. We prioritize a social life with people we are forced to congregate with rather than with people who share our passions and with whom we would otherwise choose to socialize. I'm not saying you can't make friends at work. But I am saying that work isn't the place most of us would choose to make friends if we had an alternative.

    How have you come to this conclusion? Having social interactions in the workplace has nothing to do with what we do outside of work. I don’t socialise with work colleagues outside of work and still have a full social life outside of work with my friends and family, as do most people. Whether I work in an office or WFH has nothing to do with this.  A half hour commute at the end of the day doesn’t mean I forfeit my personal life.


    Of course production line workers, manufacturing technicians, medical staff, retail staff and dozens of others aren't in a position to wk from home on a regular basis. But, first, this argument isn't about them - it's about the people who could work from home.

    This thread is about Plan B restriction easing, I am making an observation that the majority of commentary/discussions has been fixated on the home working issue. In the same way you’ve criticised the CIPD for its official position on this topic, I’m making a similar criticism but from a different angle to you.  


    Well, first of all forgive me if I prioritize the needs of people over businesses.

    I prioritise what I think is best for both the company and the people – if I think something will benefit the business, and in turn that protects people’s jobs, then this is what I will prioritise. The first to lose out in a failing business are usually the employees


    But as already mentioned, this is a win-win scenario. It is (as previously indicated) a well-established fact that businesses do better when more people work from home.

    I still disagree. I’ve told you I don’t like working from home and that I perform better working in an office, and I work with many others who feel the same. It is not well established otherwise all companies would have implemented this already, and we would not be having these discussions. An 11 year old study of a travel agency based in China undertaking functional transactions, and a Stanford study which appears to be predominantly based on employee feedback is not well established evidence that remote working guarantees better performance. We will hopefully get proper data on this in the coming months and years based on what happened with WFH during the pandemic.  

    Would you like me to point out the areas of economic growth during the pandemic? If we worked from home and had the freedom to socialize outside of work, then even those industries that struggled in the pandemic (like hospitality, where I also used to work) would enjoy a boom.

    We still can work from home or the office and have the freedom to socialise outside of work – what do you think happened before the pandemic?


    The voices of industry are entirely loud enough already in this (and every other) debate.

    The majority of articles I have seen on this topic are critical of businesses that deviate from the current WFH/remote. Given some of the world’s most successful businesses employing some of the most highly skilled employees are taking these decisions counter to the popular narrative, does this not merit more balanced consideration?  


    And what eludes all common sense is that business leaders are actively fighting to do their own profits a disservice by seeking to return to the office culture (and don't be fooled by "hybrid" working - as mentioned in my original post, this is just a way of disincentivizing remote working by failing to adapt to the cultural change needed to make it work effectively).

    Hybrid working is a reasonable middle ground for some employees and employers. Some employees feel very isolated if their work is fully remote.  


    It's almost as if business leaders are more interested in preserving their status and right to exercise direct and immediate control over their subordinates than they are in the best interests of even their shareholders - let alone their employees!

    I can't talk about the public sector, but within the private sector this is nothing to do with control or status. Businesses are driven by performance and profit and are accountable to shareholders. Business leaders are assessed on the performance of the business and are accountable for this. If a business concludes that it will perform better (or retain talent) by offering remote/hybrid working, it would be idiotic to do something contrary to this. Business leaders take decisions based on what they think will work best – they might not get this right all the time, but to think they would sabotage business performance for status and control is nonsensical.

  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    24 Jan, 2022 11:17

    In reply to Robey:

    Robey said:
    And the CIPD's official position is a little disappointing.

    Hi Robey - we're suggesting (that's CIPD) a measured, hybrid approach for wellbeing, productivity & engagement. Every context is different, and the discussion so far would seem to confirm that. What do you think we sould be saying?

    I'd also say that I think it is particularly important at this time for employers to run frequent pulse surveys of their employees to evidence the choices they're making.

  • In reply to Robey:

    Hi Robey, as you know we have a small business and it's not always possible to have everyone remote working for the best interest of the business. The last 2 years has been particularly tough on out tech team who need to work collaboratively, asking questions rapidly and requiring discussion - it's not impossible remotely but it has caused issues. The projects are taking longer because of this and customers don't like being charged for the additional time.
    Also, one thing that sits uncomfortably with me (as it's my responsibility) is the financial paperwork has been in and out of the office and at someone's house where I have no idea how they are being kept (we have an agreement about them being kept in a locked case etc but I know they've been out when the employee had family visiting).
    I don't agree that remote working increases productivity, in our experience it hasn't always been the case, noticably declining the longer the at home stint. I do think that it's perfectly reasonable going forward to require a % of time in the office as standard - if we're responsible for the well being of our employees we should have in person contact (and to know what's "normal" for each individual needs a relationship with them built over a period of time, which is so much harder to do if you only ever see their head and shoulders on a screen!)
    Perhapse my response is due to my "E" personality type!?
    I don't consider myself a willful ignorant manager!
    Fee
    PS - Hope all well with you & the family? Haven't seen you around lately.
  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    What do you think we should be saying?

    It's this use of the word "hybrid" that troubles me, to be honest. As with so many new concepts, it is poorly defined, but my impression is that it is mostly understood to mean "some time in the office, some time remote", and so far my experience of this is that when a business takes as a default assumption that a minimum amount of time will be worked in the office, the systems are built on the assumption of office working, which leaves those who choose to work remotely at a disadvantage. This undermines the value of remote working to both workers and employers which I believe will lead to a vicious circle in which employers decide that remote working "doesn't work" and we'll return to the status quo.

    To Fee, Annabel and Joe's points more generally - because there's a risk of falling into a point-by-point argument that defeats the object of the discussion - it is my feeling that there are very few obstacles to default remote working that don't have available solutions, but those solutions are often overlooked because the existing infrastructure is subject to the sunk cost fallacy.

    To take one example that has cropped up a few times both here and in other arguments about the return to the office, let's talk about the "water cooler" moment - those passing queries or spontaneous encounters that lead to important decisions.

    Well, first I think that the existence of these incidents is wildly exaggerated to begin with. But the opportunities for such encounters aren't diminished by remote working. Rather, remote working offers us the change to move those encounters to different platforms, such as WhatsApp, Teams, FB Messenger or Discord (which I particularly rate as an under-appreciated tool for business). Historically, businesses have tended to discourage informal exchanges of information, tolerating them only in brief, face-to-face momentary encounters between other appointments. But embracing platforms that blend voice, video, text, file sharing, link sharing and other media and encouraging a continuous process of informal dialogue makes the opportunity for spontaneous decision making greater, not smaller.

    Of course, the response to this is a complaint that people then spend too much time chatting and not enough working, but the evidence shows this generally isn't so (or, at least, no more than it already is!). And I have to say that you can't have it both ways. Either you want people to spontaneously communicate to get those lightbulb moments, or you don't. And if you don't, then remote working is even better for you, because you don't have to have any of those informal media available to employees.

    Then there are the more formal check-ins that we do. Managers remember to check up on their team because they're right there in the office. But this leads us in two equally bad directions, culturally. Managers judge value by presence rather than contribution (q.v. my issue with the hybrid default), and those who aren't present are overlooked. Even without remote working this happens to employees who are on sickness absence or maternity leave on a regular basis - the business moves on in some way and no one remembers to tell them because they aren't right there and the lack of mnemonic prompt means they are out of sight, out of mind.

    Like the spontaneous meetings, rather than preserving the office culture as a sort of amber resin that protects these valuable features of life, we should be asking what it is we value about office life and then working out how to recreate them in a remote working scenario.

    As Joe and Annabel both mention, there are a lot of workers - about 40% of the UK workforce - who cannot work remotely, from restaurant staff and production line staff to fire fighters and delivery drivers. But there are already groups within these who, gradually, are discovering that remote working might in due course be possible.

    Teaching has been done remotely in the Australian heartlands for years, and although we've discovered many challenges with remote teaching en masse during lockdown, we've also learned many good things about it that could be built upon while we come up with ways to tackle the challenges. Doctors have discovered that remote consultations - which private healthcare providers have been doing for a decade - are a surprisingly efficient use of both their time and their patients' in many cases. Surgeons have been doing long-distance procedures using robots for a while, and the technology is being rolled out more widely. Other roles have long been prime for automation, but as long as it has been possible to hire low-cost workers for less than the cost of investing in improved technology, few have bothered.

    At risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, there are a lot of vested interests in sustaining the office working model, but let me pick up on one that I know is dear to the hearts of many of our members: the price of property in London.

    The concentration of work in London isn't the only contributor to the value of property there, but it's certainly a considerable one. So if you're trying to recruit in London you either have to find people prepared to tolerate a 1-2 hour one-way commute every day, or you have to find people already fortunate enough to be able to own or rent property in the area. Either way, this puts pressure on salaries which leads to the common feature of "London weighting", but it also reduces your potential talent pool to those two groups.

    Now think about how many businesses in London are purely knowledge-based workers: lawyers, software developers, marketing companies, talent agencies... For the majority of businesses in London, they could go 100% remote, lose the on-going cost of their office space and allow their existing workers to live anywhere in the UK, as well as being able to reach new talent all over the country. You'd lose fewer days to sickness. Fewer hours to traffic jams and rail delays. Fewer good workers to stress and anxiety.

    Of course, people also would sink their life savings into a London property, locking them into working only within that bubble. They'd be freer to leave one job and move to another, anywhere in the UK or even overseas without even needing to own a passport. This, of course, scares businesses that rely on a captive audience prepared to tolerate poor treatment in return for just enough money, but the CIPD is big of promoting positive work environments and fair wages so I'd hope that doesn't apply to anyone here.

    My argument has drifted into utopianism, now, which is a bit beyond the purview of this forum. But it does serve to illustrate why I think this is a unique moment in modern history in which we have the opportunity to do something extraordinary with major, long-term benefits to society, and why I therefore find the CIPD's somewhat half-hearted position disappointing. Not, y'know, something I outright disagree with, because it's not like they're saying "right, time to get back to the office, chaps!", but just... a little myopic.

    Individual businesses can't be expected to be able to see beyond the immediate challenges of making ends meet and turning a profit in a challenging environment (it's nice when they do, of course, but we can't expect them to). That's why we have organizations like the CIPD, who ought to be able to take a step back and say "hang on, what if..."

  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    I’ve noticed lots of adverts recently with a rigid interpretation of hybrid on them - 2 days homeworking, 3 in the office and similar. This might work well for lots of people and it is good if it is offered as one of several options. But where this is the only approach, I think it adversely affects people who work best from a consistent location - those who work best remotely, those who work best from an employer’s premises all the time, or from somewhere else.

    Health and wellbeing is only one of a number of reasons that some people work best in one location eg where a bespoke workstation set up is needed. Apply a hybrid approach like 2 days at home and 3 in the office as the one approach for everyone, and for some people it will cause unnecessary difficulties at best.

    Hybrid might help wellbeing, productivity and engagement for some people so that's good if they can work in this way. But there are others whose wellbeing, productivity and engagement has benefitted from working remotely: some people who are now in work because they’ve been allowed to work remotely all the time and who will struggle if this is taken away. I’m not saying this applies to everyone. But that’s the point really; we’re all different.

    We encourage flexible working; we enable people, where possible, to work varied amounts of hours, times, days, patterns and other things. I think allowing varied choices of working location, where possible, should be equally encouraged.