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The University of Southampton
Public Policy|Southampton

Work after lockdown

Dr Jane Parry

This brief stems from a major cross-institutional research project which is a part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19.

The sudden and enforced mass migration of office workers to working from home during the pandemic provided a unique opportunity to follow employers and employees as they adapted to new challenges from the very first lockdown all the way to the last.

It revealed a permanent mindset shift about how work is organised among the UK’s formerly office-based workforce. What began as an accidental experiment around working from home is evolving into the mass hybridisation of the workforce, but finding the right balance will be integral to its success.

Whilst employers will want to keep control of employees’ output, employees will want to choose when and where they work, so they are productive and achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Applying the lessons identified within this brief will help change the world of work to the mutual benefit of all parties involved by preserving positive gains around autonomy, flexibility and work-life balance, while enhancing those around workforce collaboration.

This is in the best interest of organisations’ longevity as they run the risk of losing staff and damaging reputations if they fail to adapt to their workforce’s new expectations.

Read the policy brief

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