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How and why we want to promote remote working.

First published:
14 September 2020
Last updated:

COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work, travel and socialise. Many people have worked away from the office 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 are exploring options for a network of remote working hubs in towns and communities. This 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

We would like to see a workplace model where staff can choose to work in the office, at home or in a hub location.

What is remote working?

Working outside of a traditional office or ‘central’ place of work. It includes working at home and close to home in your local community. 

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. 

The benefits

  • less or no commuting and a better work life balance
  • less congestion, air and noise pollution
  • less traffic means more room for cyclists and walkers who have to travel to work
  • more job opportunities and access to an increased workforce
  • economic and social benefits for the high street

Will businesses have to change how they work?

We would like to have 30% of Welsh workers working from home or close to home. It is not a target and no requirements will be put upon organisations and employers.

Many people and businesses will want to continue to work in this more flexible way. This might mean a mixture of working in the office and at home or in the local community.  

For example: 

  • 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) 

When will this happen

We need to make sure we create hub spaces that work for the community. We’re undertaking research and looking for pilot locations to make sure we get this right and reduce negative impacts. We hope to repurpose buildings on the high street.

Further information

We will be producing guidance. We will publish this on our Business Wales website pages soon.