Changing work patterns, with a greater emphasis on work-life balance, could be one of the few beneficial outcomes of the COVID-19 outbreak – with rural locations like Cumbria having much to offer, says Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP).
This week is National Work Life Week and, to mark the event, work-life balance charity Working Families has launched the results of a survey of employers who have invested in creating flexible and family-friendly workplaces.
Before COVID-19, a quarter of respondents said that more than half of their staff worked at least partly remotely. During COVID-19, this jumped to 84 per cent saying that at least half of their staff had worked exclusively remotely during lockdown.
CLEP Chief Executive Jo Lappin said: “The findings of the survey make for very interesting reading. The past few months have been difficult for many people but perhaps one silver lining is the recognition that flexibility in working arrangements can benefit both businesses and employees.
“For some people, although clearly not all, flexible hours and remote working using digital technology, such as video conferencing, has allowed them to continue working and contributing to their business and the economy.
“Working in this way provides greater freedom as to where people can live and work going forward, as they are no longer tied to living close to their business location. It’s therefore understandable that some people are looking for a different way of life post-COVID 19.
“Where better to discover work-life balance than in Cumbria? It really does have it all – beautiful locations, affordable homes and a quality lifestyle. The current Stamp Duty Holiday makes this the perfect time to think about making the move.
“Furthermore, we have so much to offer and explore, including two World Heritage Sites, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, more Michelin star restaurants than anywhere north of London, and fantastic arts, culture and heritage offers.”
Before the outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this year, CLEP launched a publicity campaign called Your Future, which was aimed at highlighting Cumbria’s appeal as a place to live, work and invest to audiences beyond the county boundary.
The campaign, which was suspended during the initial stages of the outbreak is shortly to be re-launched. For further details, check out: www.thecumbrialep.co.uk/YourFuture