91% of UK workforce willing to work from home after pandemic ends

A recent survey has revealed that a vast majority of the UK workforce would prefer to continue to work from home even when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

The “COVID-19 Remote Working Survey” by Eskenzi PR and OnePoll found that 91% of the general working population would like to continue to work from home whereas only 9% would want to work in the office full-time.

“A third of respondents would prefer to continue working from home either every day or four days per week (31%). Just under a third of respondents are at the other end of the spectrum and would like to work from home one day a week, or less than weekly (25%). However, for over a third of people (35%), the dream scenario would be to opt for a half-way house and work from home for half the week,” the survey revealed.

The main reason to prefer work from home for most of the respondents (as much as 54.19%) was to avoid time wasted through commuting whereas 44.92% of the respondents would prefer remote working for a more relaxed working environment at home.

“This survey shows that for the first time ever, people have had a taste of working from home and they love it because they’re more relaxed, they don’t need to travel and can spend time with their family and pets. Interestingly, a third of respondents think the ideal working week would be better-spent half at home and half in the office.

“We can only hope that this great remote working experiment has shown employers that their staff can be trusted to work just as productively from home; particularly as it also appears to have a positive impact on their well-being as well as the environment. This can also be good for companies' productivity and profitably, as they’ll need less office space with fewer people there 100% of the time, “said Yvonne Eskenzi, founder and owner of Eskenzi PR.

Employees working from home have not received adequate cyber security awareness guidance or training

What the survey indicates is that with more and more employees willing to work from home, businesses will have to redraw their cyber security protocols and practices to ensure remote work does not enhance their vulnerability to cyber threats such as ransomware attacks or phishing campaigns. However, this is not being followed by a majority of organisations worldwide.

A recent report from Kaspersky has revealed that even though businesses have allowed their employees to work from home, as many as 73 percent of employees working from home have not yet received any specific cybersecurity awareness guidance or training designed to keep themselves secure from risks.

Kaspersky's study also found that following the introduction of remote work, many employees have also increased the use of online services for work that were not approved by their IT departments, known as shadow IT, such as video conferencing (70%), instant messengers (60%) or file storage services (53%).

According to Kunal Anand, Chief Technology Officer at Imperva, when it comes to building a security program, focusing only on technology and processes puts us in a weak and unbalanced position. Businesses will need four steps in place.

"First, start at the top and get leadership support, second, conduct awareness training to ensure employees know what needs protecting, third, test the security posture such as through internal phishing campaigns, and fourth, ensure transparency and continual communication. Only then will everyone, on a personal and business level, be able to mitigate the risks that these attacks can cause," he added.

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