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Coronavirus: Why firms should consider making work from home a permanent feature

Working from home could boost productivity. (Photo: Getty)
Working from home could boost productivity. (Getty)

If US firms decide to let employees continue to work from home, they could save $4.5tn (£3.6tn) annually by 2030 as a result of improved productivity and reduced fixed overheads, according to a report by VPN service provider Atlas VPN.

The report found 85% of over 15,000 global business believe greater location flexibility lead to an increase in productivity, according to the data from a recent survey by Zaplier and a Merchant Savvy report.

Some 65% of 1,200 employees surveyed said their productivity has increased now that they work from home.

Meanwhile, 80% said they can better manage interruptions from coworkers and 77% said they are finding new times to be productive outside of the normal nine to five working hours.

READ MORE: Will we have a legal right to work from home in the future?

Despite this, 66% said they preferred working in the office or workplace over working from home.

“These numbers lead to the conclusion that people prefer to work in the office but appreciate flexibility in a work environment: it is convenient knowing you work from home if needed,” Atlas said.

This is reflected in the fact that 99% of employees say that they would like to have an opportunity to work from home at least part-time, according to Merchant Savvy. They also found that 80% said that when faced with two similar jobs, they would turn down the position that didn’t offer flexible working conditions.

While employees are currently being asked to work from home due to coronavirus lockdowns in many parts of the world, companies may benefit from allowing employees to decide where they want to work, as this could give a huge boost to their productivity.

READ MORE: Why it’s normal to feel irritable when working from home under lockdown

Firms could also look to tackle concerns employees have about flexible working. This includes worries that that working from home may give the impression they are not working as hard as others.

Earlier this month Twitter (TWTR) announced that employees can choose to continue working from home “forever” after the coronavirus crisis eases. The social media site also said staff would be able to go back to the office if they choose when it reopens, as the company looks towards a post-COVID-19 future.