UK Workers Demand Better Remote Working Options

  • Airbnb’s Future of Work report shows 77% of UK workers feel companies should provide more remote working options to attract talent

UK employers need to provide more flexible and remote working options in order to attract the best talent, according to new research released today by Airbnb for Work.

Airbnb’s Future of Work report, the first of its kind from the platform, has revealed that the modern trend of remote and flexible working shows no sign of slowing down, and companies embracing this change stand to make the best hires. Workers in the UK are demanding more flexibility than ever, with 77% of respondents – and 84% of Millennials – agreeing that companies need to provide more remote options to attract talent*.

UK workers are becoming more confident in their abilities to do their job from anywhere, with one in ten now preferring to work outside the traditional office altogether. Modern technological developments are cited as a reason for this, with 71% stating that person-to-person interaction is no longer essential for their work and 73% agreeing quality work is not restricted to the confines of a centralised office location.

Despite this strong preference among workers, UK employers are proving slow to respond. Almost two thirds (65%) of workers in the UK state they are not currently able to choose a flexible work schedule, while three quarters (74%) still don’t have the option of working remotely.

This desire for flexible working options can also be seen across the globe**, as 73% of those surveyed worldwide stated that having a flexible work schedule is important and 75% agreed that a centralised office is no longer required for quality work. Although global employers need to be doing more, they are ahead of the UK; 41% of workers are being offered a flexible work schedule worldwide and 31% are able to work remotely (versus 35% and 26% in the UK respectively).

In addition to flexible hours and scope to work remotely, other benefits that ranked highly included parental, commuter and wellness benefits alongside initiatives to further individual growth and development.

Top Ten UK Desired Benefits:

1. Flexible hours

2. Ability to work remotely

3. Continued education/tuition assistance

4. Opportunities to move across teams

5. Encouragement to get out of the office

6. Commuter benefits

7. Maternity/paternity benefits

8. Travel for work

9. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives

10. Wellness Benefits (e.g. Gym membership)

Again, companies delivering on these benefits was shown to lag behind workers’ desires. For example, 40% of respondents cited travel for work as an important benefit, yet only 14% are currently being offered this by their employer.

The needs of today’s professionals are constantly adapting and changing, so the modern company needs to evolve to keep pace. Our research shows that employers may be missing the mark when it comes to offering their employees more opportunities for flexible and remote working, among other benefits. Companies that look for ways to meet the desires of their workforce could find this in turn helps them be better placed to attract as well as retain top talent.

We’re constantly developing and expanding Airbnb For Work to make it easier for companies to facilitate remote working and travel for work. In the UK alone, we’ve seen a 116% year-on-year increase in bookings from UK business travellers whose companies have signed up to the initiative.

David Holyoke, Head of Airbnb for Work


*Research of 500 UK workers carried out by Ipsos Mori

**Research of 2,800 workers globally, carried out by Ipsos Mori