The Government has been somewhat sceptical about the increase in homeworking caused by the pandemic. The underlying assumption often appears to be that working from home only benefits workers with high and middle incomes, whose experiences have been highlighted in the media. But this ignores the millions of low-paid workers who worked from home during the pandemic, and are continuing to work from home in the ‘new normal’.
For the first time, this report shows that low-paid workers report significant benefits as a result of working from home. These benefits range from more self-reported flexibility and autonomy at work and a better work-life balance, to stronger family relationships and improved health. Low-paid homeworkers are just as likely as high-paid homeworkers to want to continue working from home in the future.
If the government, employers and wider stakeholders want to support low-paid workers, they should seek to maintain homeworking as an option for them, improve the experience of homeworking, and expand access to homeworking where this is possible.