How firms are embracing flexibility as 74% of businesses plan on maintaining working from home

A new survey from the Institute of Directors (IoD) reveals that 74% plan to maintain their increased levels of remote working. More than half also plan on reducing their long-term use of workspaces. The survey chimes with Boris Johnson's recent announcement that employees should work from home where possible, as local lockdowns are enforced and Coronavirus cases rise in England.

Hema Bakhshi is an Advisor for the Future Strategy Club ( and works to provide guidance on how firms can adapt to overcome change. Previously, Hema was the Director of the Future of Work at Santander, and so her expertise has never been more relevant than in the midst of a pandemic. As an expert on helping firms adapt to change, in light the IoD survey, Hema is well-placed to discuss:

  • How the COVID pandemic has changed the way businesses work forever;

  • What a second lockdown would mean for businesses;

  • How firms can be flexible and overcome the impact of the Coronavirus;

  • Advice for someone who has just lost their job;

  • How SMEs vs. larger firms should respond to the pandemic;

  • The biggest challenges for businesses over the next 1-3 years.

The Future Strategy Club (, a lean and transparent co-agency with access to the finest freelancer talent, have drawn on their freelancer base to provide a robust bank of advice from the UK's top strategic thinkers in a new Survival Guide for businesses.

Hema has lent her expertise and knowledge to this guide. In a sample of her commentary, Hema discusses her take on how the first lockdown allowed for more flexible working attitudes:

"You are always cognisant that things are going to change, but you never know how these changes are going to manifest. It is therefore important to foster this idea and allow yourself to be open-minded so that you can be responsive to change. I would say that this is much more important than focussing on predicting outcomes or trying to anticipate what is around the corner.

We’ve long anticipated a change in attitude to work. Technology is constantly evolving, so really it was inevitable that this would impact the approaches we have towards our working lives. The impact of lockdown was certainly unexpected but it showed that, when needed, we do have the technology and facilities required to cope with seismic shifts to our lives. Subsequently, we are witnessing the evolution of corporate work before our eyes. People are becoming far more creative in how they both value the world and the work they generate. As result, the world is rapidly shifting away from the culture of a 9-5."

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