London businesses who are continuing with increased home-working are doing so because it improves staff wellbeing, according to more than three quarters of those whose practices have changed.
Almost one in five said the change in culture had also reduced sickness absence, while more than 40 per cent said it “increased productivity”.
The findings came from the UK Government’s Business and Insights Conditions Survey, which sought the views of 2323 businesses in London between March 20 and April 2.
The report found more than a third of businesses want to further increase homeworking, despite the restrictions brought about by Covid-19 having long ended – the highest in the country.
And of those who do, 77.6 per cent said it was for the sake of staff wellbeing, and 18 per cent said it reduced sickness absence.
Speak With Impact, a public speaking firm which works with organisations across the UK, said the data revealed shifting patterns within business life.
Director Gavin Brown said companies would have to adapt to the “hybrid future” in order to excel in an environment which was now splitting home and office working.
That includes senior business figures being able to make presentations adequately in person, in the room and in a hybrid format, as well as supporting all employees at improving skills in all three circumstances.
Gavin Brown, director of Speak With Impact, said, “Businesses were forced into changes as a result of the Covid pandemic, but now many of those are remaining through choice.
“This shows many businesses themselves believe that a hybrid approach benefits staff wellbeing and reduces sickness absence.
“A happier workforce which incurs less sickness absence is clearly of huge benefit to businesses.
“But what’s also important is that staff at all levels are equipped to deal with the changing environment.
“For example, those making presentations at the top will now need to excel in delivering them in the room, by applications like Zoom, and in a hybrid manner where some of the audience are physically in front of them and others have tuned in digitally.
“Those are three very distinct skills, but mastering them all will lead to far improved results for London’s businesses.
“And employees across the board will also need to be supported to ensure that their location of work space is no barrier to success and productivity.”