Research has shown that HR leaders generally have a positive attitude to remote working with around 96 per cent believing that remote working has not negatively impacted employee productivity.

A report from Wade Macdonald, a HR and data analytics recruiter, highlights the attitudes of employers towards remote working, wellbeing and the future of work post-COVID.

Most HR leaders had a positive response to remote working with around 96 per cent sharing their view that working remotely has not negatively impacted the productivity of their employees. Additionally, nine in 10 employers (90 per cent) stated that they would allow staff the choice to continue working remotely after the pandemic whilst over three-quarters (77 per cent) responded that flexible working would be the norm in their organisations.

Analysing staff welfare, almost six in 10 employers (59 per cent) reported pro-actively implementing a plan for staff wellbeing. However, around a third (35 per cent) said that they would offer wellbeing support on a more reactive basis, depending on what their employees needed as time progressed. Only 6 per cent had no support in place for this.

Over half of employers (55 per cent) stated that, as part of their wellbeing strategy, they offered access to an online platform with self-service material. Just over a third of businesses gave their staff access to counselling services whilst under a fifth (16 per cent) provided their staff with a private doctor.

In light of the strain being placed on mental health, the majority of employers (83 per cent) have stated they have had regular contact with staff throughout the pandemic. Over half (54 per cent) stated they did this through phone calls whilst four in 10 (41 per cent) used team video calls. Over a third (32 per cent) even hosted virtual social events such as quiz or drinks nights.

Despite the emphasis on wellbeing, almost seven in 10 employers (69 per cent) had not yet produced a written COVID-19 policy although over half of employers stated that they are planning on producing this in the future (55 per cent).

Chris Goulding, Managing Director of Wade Macdonald, said:

COVID-19 has created a host of unprecedented pressures for businesses and individuals alike. While economists could have predicted the large-scale financial difficulties the world was about to witness, no one could have been prepared for the physical and mental burdens that would follow.

The recognition of the strain the last eight months has had on internal teams has meant that a large proportion of employers are looking to seriously ramp up their support efforts indefinitely.

Tina Wisener, Partner of Doyle Clayton, said:

What is most encouraging throughout these findings is that the importance placed on staff welfare support is not simply a fad because of the times we live in, but something that holds gravitas for many employers now and going forward. A welcome change for businesses and their teams across the country and hopefully, the right steps forward to a much happier, more resilient workforce.

*This research was taken from Wade Macdonald and Doyle Clayton’s report ‘Staff Welfare during Covid-19’ which surveyed 150 HR leaders in mid-May 2020.