Martin Ford 19 August 2020

Four in five council staff working from home

Numbers of council staff working from home have rocketed from 5% pre-lockdown to 80%, according to new research.

The shift from a tiny minority to an overwhelming majority in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in a survey by Socitm (Society for Innovation, Technology and Modernisation) and Socitm Advisory, which received 2,500 responses from 70 local authorities in the UK, and 100 from New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Ireland.

Despite the surge in home working, the survey found that 78% of respondants have received no formal training in the use of the technology involved.

The report read: ‘Video conferencing, file sharing and collaborative team communication tools are now mainstream for workers to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.

‘However, the lack of training given to make this the new norm is concerning.’

Just over 40% of staff felt they were ‘more efficient and productive’ because of flexible working arrangements, improvement in work-life balance was reported by 58% of respondents and 57% have adopted new ways of working that benefit citizens.

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