Number of Scots home-working drops to lowest since pandemic

Gavin Brown (director of Speak With Impact)

THE number of Scots working from home has dropped to its lowest since the effects of the Covid pandemic began to ease, new figures have revealed.

In the first fortnight of October, just five per cent of workers were exclusively working from home, according to the survey of more than 1000 Scottish businesses.

That compares to 15.7 per cent at the turn of the year, and represents a gradual reduction in those only logging in from their own house.

The Office for National Statistics’ Business Insights and Conditions Survey also revealed 28.4 per cent of large businesses were now adopting a “hybrid model of working” – where staff split their working week between home and the office.

That’s nearly double the rate from the beginning of 2022.

Public speaking and hybrid working expert Gavin Brown, who runs Edinburgh-based Speak With Impact, said the figures signalled a further change in post-Covid working patterns.

The former MSP added businesses across the country could capitalise on hybrid working, especially when it comes to maximising opportunities overseas.

Among the Scottish sectors most likely to be hybrid working are information and communication (50.6 per cent), and professional, scientific and technical activities (49.8 per cent).

The statistics showed, between October 3 and 16, that 28.4 per cent of those working for businesses with more than 250 employees were hybrid working, compared to 16.3 per cent of small and medium-sized firms.

The BICS began monitoring hybrid and home working results from Scotland in November 2021.

Gavin Brown, director of Speak With Impact, said:

“The fall in Scots working from home signals yet another change in our working patterns.

“It’s clear we’re now settling into a phase post-pandemic where people and businesses are looking to split their time between home and the office.

“We went from a position during Covid, almost overnight, from hardly anyone working from home to huge numbers doing so.

“Now some of the practicalities – economically and socially – of home-working are becoming a little clearer, and it’s far more common for staff to do a bit of both.

“That hybrid approach will bring huge opportunities for Scottish businesses who now have a chance to excel in this new world and expand their horizons digitally while continuing to enjoy the benefits of in-person conferences and meetings.

“If Scotland gets this right by investing in hybrid technology and gaining the skills to capitalise on it, there will be considerable potential for growth and prosperity.”

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