How and why we want to promote remote working.
COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work, travel and socialise. Many people have worked away from the central workplace during lockdown. We now want to work with organisations to support a long-term shift to more people working remotely.
Benefits for local economies, businesses, individuals and the environment include:
- a reduction in travel time and expense
- more flexibility and better work life balance
- increased productivity
- less traffic, especially at peak times
- less air and noise pollution
- the opportunity to redesign our towns and city centres
We would like to see a workplace model where workers can choose their place of work. This includes the central workplace, their home, or a workspace close to their home.
What is remote working?
Working outside of a traditional office or ‘central’ place of work. It includes working at home and close to home.
Why we are doing it?
During the first lockdown, lots of people had to work from home to slow the spread of the virus. We saw that it resulted in benefits for workers, local communities and the environment.
- less or no commuting and a better work-life balance
- less congestion, air and noise pollution in some areas
- less traffic means more room for cyclists and walkers
- more job opportunities in out-of-town communities and access to an increased workforce for employers
- economic and social benefits for the local high streets
- allows disabled people to work in a place that supports their individual needs
- more job opportunities for people who cannot travel easily.
Watch our video to find out how remote working can benefit disabled people.
Will businesses have to change how they work?
We would like to have 30% of Welsh workers working at or near to home on a regular basis. This is not a requirement on businesses and many employers have already taken a proactive approach to these changes in working styles.
We want to help businesses and employees understand how flexible working can work for them. Many people and businesses will want to continue to work in this more flexible way. This might mean a mixture of working in the central workplace, at home, or at a local workspace in your community.
- a full time worker may decide to work 2 days in the office and 3 days at or near to home (remote working for 60% of the time)
- someone who works 3 days a week might work 1 day from home and 2 days at the office (remote working 33% of the time)
We have received a lot of interest from communities who wish to be involved in creating local workspaces. These hubs will:
- allow people to work nearer to where they live
- allow individuals to work together in their local community
- provide a space for those who cannot or do not want to work from home
A growing number of sites have joined our network of workspace hubs. The list continues to grow. Some are for the use of public sector staff only, but the majority are for use by the general public.
These locations do not represent all working spaces in Wales but are those who have volunteered to provide user data to inform future delivery. If you have a business that offers a local workspace and would like to participate please contact us at mailbox: RemoteWorking@gov.wales
Remote working public engagement
We ran a survey from February to March 2021 that asked:
- where you would like co-working hubs to be located
- how you feel about this way of working
This year we will seek your views on how remote working has positively and negatively impacted you. Gathering your feedback is valuable and is important to us.
Smarter working: a remote working strategy for Wales
Smarter working: a remote working strategy for Wales outlines our approach to achieving 30% of the Welsh workforce working at or near to home. It sets out the economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits of remote working. It explains how we plan to embed remote working for the long-term in the Welsh workplace.
Integrated impact assessment
We have undertaken impact assessments on areas that may be affected by the strategy such as:
- the environment
- people with protected characteristics
- Welsh language.