One in three office workers wants to continue to work from home, according to a recent survey.
Lucy Denyer wasn’t surprised, writing that after finally achieving some work/life balance it wouldn’t be easy to get everyone back to their desks.
However, the home-working revolution isn’t without it’s costs, argued Allister Heath, who predicted that office workers around the globe would start to compete for remote jobs.
We asked Telegraph readers how they have found working from home and whether they want to continue to do so in the future.
Some had worked from home before the pandemic. For others, it was the first-time they hadn’t had to commute to the office.
Reader on for Telegraph readers on their personal pros and cons of working from home, and whether they want to go back to working in an office, below. Join the conversation by sharing your view in the comments section at the bottom of the article.
‘I feel like I’m alive again and much more productive’
Julie Inge, Sittingbourne, Purchase Ledger Clerk
“I did not work from home before the pandemic.
“I have been working from home since the lockdown began and will do for the foreseeable future. I am more relaxed, can concentrate more and feel more productive working from home. I don’t miss the daily commute and fill the time I spent on travelling doing yoga and going for a walk before I start the day.
“I thoroughly enjoy working from home and would feel very pleased if it became permanent or part-time. I feel like I’m alive again, and much more productive.”
‘Now everyone is dialing in I’m no longer the difficult one’
Averil MacDonald, Monmouth, consultant
“I previously worked from home but was required to go into the office for face-to-face meetings.
“The greatest benefit is that I can meet people, via Zoom, without driving miles or spending hours on a train. Previously I was considered awkward when I asked if I could dial into a meeting (and got forgotten on the end of the phone if I did). Now everyone is dialing in and I’m no longer the difficult one. It’s saved me a fortune in travel costs and hours travelling.
“I would be delighted if virtual meetings were the norm and face-to-face was a rarity. I can see the value in larger meetings being face-to-face, but two or three via Zoom is at least as good and increases productivity.”
‘Working from home is boring after a while’
Richard Stephens, London, Solicitor
“I work for myself but always had an office prior to the pandemic as I preferred it that way for at least part of the day
“It is a long time since I have worked this hard. I have managed to reposition my business, learn new skills with a webcam, reach new people using social media, get new clients and find new work. It’s been challenging but great.
“However, working from home is boring after a while. You need to get out and mix with people and this is becoming harder now. There is nothing like a face-to-face meeting, business lunch, coffee or drink.
“Just being in the city centre with an office is a wonderful experience. There is nothing like having an office to want to finish your work and get out of it. Working from home means everything stretches out without a break.
“I dread that the emptiness of London will force retail businesses to close or relocate to local areas where people are working from home.”
‘My back is killing me from working at the kitchen table’
Julie Jessup, Bedfordshire, Sales Manager
“I rarely worked from home before the pandemic but I enjoyed it when I did.
“The advantages of working from home include not having to get on a crowded train, saving on commuting costs, having more time on my hands – I love going for walks in the mornings before beginning working – and taking my full lunch break rather than sitting at my desk.
“The disadvantages of working from home are that my back is killing me from working at the kitchen table without proper equipment. I also suffer from eye strain as I am never away from my laptop screen. My social life is based in London where I work rather than the town I live in and commute from.
“I am not keen on permanently working from home but two to three times a week would be perfect.”
‘I seemed to spend a lot of time on calls to catch-up with my colleagues’
Lucie Westwood, Bristol, Accountant
“Before the pandemic I worked one day a week from home in my four day week.
“Home working did not start off so well. With one junior school child at home the days were very disjointed and I found myself working over five days to cover the same hours. I seemed to spend a lot of time on calls to catch-up with colleagues. The benefits have definitely been much reduced travelling, being able to exercise in the mornings, not getting up as early and being able to eat with my family. I now work in the office one day a week to get a full day to focus on work and to overlap with colleagues.
“I am more than happy to continue working one day in the office and three days working from home. I feel much less tired with the current pattern of working.”
‘My work was constantly interrupted’
Sarah Haselwood, Surrey, Freelance Writer
“Before the pandemic I’d worked from home for about three years and I have always enjoyed the flexibility and peace it offers. I always liked being able to pop to coffee shops for a change of scenery and was able to pick up my children from school.
“My homeworking idyll was shattered when two children under seven and a husband intruded my workspace during lockdown. I am lucky that I work freelance and can set my own hours, so during lockdown I was able to home school (badly) during the day and work in the evenings and weekends. It meant however, that I rarely had the quiet environment I needed to concentrate and my work time was constantly interrupted.
“I was resentful at times that my husband had the luxury and privacy of working in my old office (in our mancave in the garden) while I was relegated to the kitchen table which lacks any space, order or privacy. I found myself working amongst Lego and school books.”
“I will always work from home so I am happy for it to continue. While it’s positive that my husband doesn’t have to commute to London at present, I would like to have my office back and go back to being on my own sometimes. Most of all I want the kids to go back to school so I can go back to ‘normal’ hours.”
‘I don’t mind working that little bit longer as I don’t have to travel’
Joe Stapleton, Lancashire, Call Centre Worker
“I never previously worked from home before the pandemic.
“I have been really happy to have been able to work from home during lockdown. The main plus points have been being able to continue working but also feel safe. I have enjoyed saving approximately two-and-a-half hours a day in travel and a lot of the time sitting in traffic.
“Not traveling to work has given me time to enjoy pottering around the garden and I’ve also saved money on petrol and on buying breakfast and lunch at our work canteen. I feel I am more efficient at work without the unnecessary interruptions and I don’t mind so much working that little bit longer when needed as I don’t have to travel.
“I can remain in contact with colleagues through Skype and team chat. However I sometimes feel isolated and miss the real interaction with people at work.
“I would love to be able to work from home permanently or come to an agreement where I could work three or four out of five days of the week at home.”
‘You need to ensure you get the tech/work/life balance right’
Rob Neil, Kent, Consultant
“Before I started my own company, I was lucky enough to work for employers who allowed some degree of home working, so it’s something I’m used to and have always enjoyed.
“Working from home has been great from a productivity point of view. A lot of our public sector clients have developed a “can-do” attitude that maybe was hampered by governance and management beforehand.
“We’ve delivered some big projects and helped accelerate change within businesses. We are also saving money (which may translate into lower day-rates in the future) and the technology such as Teams has now been proven.
“You do miss some of the office dynamics, but virtual kitchens and the like do help. And you need to ensure you get the tech/work/life balance right – it’s easy to find yourself working an extra three or four hours a day just because you start work at your normal time and don’t have to commute.
“I’d enjoy working from home permanently. We are definitely more productive and have extra time to think about innovation and how we can better support our clients. I still see the need for the odd face-to-face meeting or workshop for breaking up what could otherwise be a monotonous existence.”