HR directors expect 70% of their workforce will have flexible working once coronavirus restrictions are lifted, a 45% increase on current levels.
More than 13 million people across the UK plan to ask their employer for changes to their long-term working pattern, according to research from Direct Line Life.
HR is therefore already preparing to receive more flexible working requests once the pandemic has eased, with over two fifths (43%) of HR directors giving the option to work from home five days a week.
Cost of travel and being at work was a key reason behind changing working styles for around a third (31%) of people, as well as commuting time at 23%.
More than a quarter (28%) of those hoping for more long-term flexible working said they have demonstrated they can do this successfully during the pandemic, a sentiment no doubt shared up and down the country.
Spending more time with family and wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle was also cited as a key reason for the change.
One in six said they were concerned over pollution levels and 5% said they plan to spend more time exercising and becoming healthier.
Chloe Couper, business manager at Direct Line Life insurance, said coronavirus has changed the mindset of millions of workers in the UK.
She said: “Many people wouldn’t have considered their employer would accept a flexible working request, despite it being legal to make one but now companies and employees have become used to home working as the ‘new norm.’
“Going through such a serious pandemic will understandably make some people want to reassess their lives and priorities going forward. Protecting health and family are vital and it is great to see so many wish to spend more time doing both.”
Working from home two days a week was the most popular option when looking to carry on flexible working arrangements.
Given office space is a large cost for most businesses, the opportunity for more staff to work remotely may reduce overheads for organisations.
Research was collected by Opinium among a nationally representative sample of 2,002 UK adults in April and by Pure Profile of 100 UK HR directors.