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91% of manufacturing and tech employers to offer more flexible working post-lockdown

Nine in ten (91%) of manufacturing and technology employers plan to offer more flexibility around working from home post-lockdown, according to a follow-up survey by IntaPeople, following its initial survey four weeks ago.

In its initial COVID-19 survey, IntaPeople found that two in three manufacturing and technology businesses said orders and projects had been delayed. Now, however, of those manufacturing companies who were negatively affected by COVID-19, 11% are seeing a significant increase in demand for products/services and 56% are seeing a slow increase in demand. In technology, 29% are experiencing a slow increase in demand, but 41% said they haven’t seen any improvement.

Three quarters (76%) of manufacturing companies had furloughed some staff, but now 33% are planning to recall them and 23% are planning to do so over the next three months. One in ten (11%), however, said there would be some redundancies to be made. Over half (53%) of technology businesses hadn’t furloughed staff, but 6% said they are expecting to have to make all currently furloughed employees redundant.

Two fifths (44%) of manufacturing companies reported some challenges with maintaining company culture, monitoring productivity and keeping employees motivated when working remotely.

Over half (56%) of manufacturing companies expect to encourage employees to work remotely in the short-term, but expect staff to return to work once it’s deemed safe. Almost half (47%) of tech companies agreed, but 47% felt that a move back to the office is too soon and expect employees to work remotely until the end of the year. A quarter (24%) of technology businesses said staff had the ability to work flexibly prior to COVID-19 but 64% said they were making changes to enable more workers to work remotely

Arran Warner, sales director of IntaPeople, said, “For manufacturing businesses, an overwhelming 100% of respondents said they want to allow for more flexibility to work both onsite and remotely moving forward, which is great news for employees. The more accommodating employers can be to adjust to the needs of their workforce the happier their team will be, and this has positive effects on staff attraction and retention.

“The good news for employees is that businesses seem to be planning changes to their remote working policies which will allow for a better work-life balance. They are also fully aware of the safety implications of returning to the workplace and are planning a range of measures to reduce risk of infection. The businesses surveyed are looking to bring in new business requirements to enable furloughed workers to return, however unfortunately a small percentage of companies foresee redundancies as a likely outcome for some furloughed staff.”

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