Working from home could turn into an employee right, as the government’s nationwide consultation closes on December 1st.

Earlier this year, the government presented proposals to allow employees the right to request flexible working from day one of their job.

According to the Chartered Management Institute, almost half of UK staff have returned to the office at least on a part-time basis but managers expect numbers to plateau given continued worries over the spread of Covid-19 and the shift to flexible working practices amid winter weather. 

In the UK, 37 percent of adults worked from home last year according to the ONS. It also found online job adverts with words like “home working”  increased to three times more in May 2021 when compared to February the year before. 

Sage Advice

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage)has asked the government to get more people to work from home to curb the rate of Covid-19. However, its scientific advisers also noted this could fuel resentment and protests. 

This is supported by a study, which suggests almost 5 million UK employees are considering going back to the office to save on energy. 

Electric Radiators Direct found the rise in energy costs this October has caused an increase of almost £30 a month for those working from home.

At the moment, people can claim £6 in tax relief from the government,  which includes gas and electricity costs while working from home.

Home heating costs too expensive for workers

In the event of another working from home mandate, more than one in five said they will not turn their heating on at all while working from home this winter.

Almost half of those surveyed (48 percent) said they will be more mindful of their overall energy consumption.

Workers in the South East are most concerned about their winter energy consumption while working from home, with over half (51 percent) of respondents saying they will be more mindful of the energy they consume, followed closely by those in the South West (50 percent) and Scotland (49 percent).  

Sage advisers have also urged the Prime Minister to identify warning metrics and intervene early to keep people safe.