The UK government is no longer instructing people to work from home but the complete return to offices looks like it may never come.
As companies across the UK and beyond plan the future of work and workplaces, Accor launches a Commute and Stay offer to help flexi workers have the best of both worlds.
The move to flexible working habits has brought with it the opportunity to move out of the city and work remotely without needing to be within easy commuter distance of the office.
The idea of selling up and moving to the coast or country has been tempting for many but it comes with a long commute and the feeling of being disconnected from work, colleagues, clients and city life.
Accor’s new Commute and Stay offer gives workers a central base in a city hotel (with up to 15% discount) enabling two days in the office and a venue for evening entertainment with clients, colleagues and friends before commuting back home out of the city.
“The last year has shown employees and employers what can be achieved at home,” said Karelle Lamouche, Chief Commercial Officer, Accor Northern Europe.
“Across the UK and around the world the idea of WFH (Work from Home) has taken hold.
“However even at the peak of the pandemic in 2020 our research showed us that WFH was not entirely what workers expected and people missed the social interaction offered by work.
“The work community and the social life that follows a working day can’t be replaced at home.
“Work From Anywhere (WFA) grew as a concept in the second half of 2020 with the rise of workations, Hotel Office and co-working.
“But all eyes have been on this summer as businesses around the country decide the future of work.
“Now it’s here, it is clear a hybrid model of office work and WFA is here to stay.
“The Commute and Stay offer enables workers to capitalize on this hybrid future of work and live anywhere just as they work from anywhere.”
As millions of workers wait to hear the fate of their company’s ‘work from office’ policy many are expecting flexible working to be here to stay.
Major National and global businesses* have already announced the closure of offices and the implementation of long-term flexible working.
The stamp duty holiday extension and the reintroduction of 95% mortgages, combined with the opportunity for flexi-working that WFH has created, is pushing more people to take the plunge and leave the city.
Many Brits have taken the opportunity to sell their city home and commuter town properties and relocate to coast or country in search for more spacious properties and a greater work-life balance.
Estate agents and online property platforms have confirmed an appetite by many buyers to buy bigger properties outside urban areas in anticipation they can work from home after the pandemic.
DFLs (Down From London) relocators to the Kent coastal towns of Margate and Ramsgate continues to rise and property prices in Thanet increase.
Lamouche continued: “The reality of WFH during the pandemic is very different from WFH ‘normally’.
“Moving forward we see the solution being a hybrid model with employers rethinking commercial real estate and office spaces to enable employees to work from home and employees rethinking home life and residential real estate in order to find a happy and healthy balance or office work and Work from Anywhere (WFA).”
The Commute & Stay enables guests to stay connected and benefit from up to 15% off and a flexible cancellation rate.
Members of Accor’s free to join loyalty programme, ALL: Accor Live Limitless, can also enjoy a further 10% discount on stays, which, combined with the up to 15% discount makes an appealing offer for commuters seeking the city job and the country life.
* Reports of major companies implementing long-term flexi working include:
- Reach PLC – Daily Mirror publisher Reach to close a London office and make most staff permanent home workers
- HSBC – HSBC lets 1,200 staff work from home permanently
- Deutsche Bank – Deutsche Bank staff in the City set for three-day work from home week
- Facebook – Facebook remote working plan extended to all staff for long term
- EY – EY confirms move to hybrid working model