As the UK government seeks to ease the lockdown restrictions over the coming weeks and months, it's interesting to see they are considering legislation giving employees the right to work from home as part of their return to work package. The German government is also considering introducing similar legislation, so it may be a trend we see grow in Europe, if not globally.

In the immediate aftermath of the crisis, industries and organisations that have traditionally been resistant to remote working have had to put in place measures for their businesses to survive. Many of these were temporary to get them through the crisis. But as these organisations begin to encourage employees back in the workplace, there will no doubt be a sizeable proportion of the workforce that will be reluctant to return. Dealing with reluctant returners is a complex issue, as employers will need to think through a wide range of matters, such as culture, employee relations, health and safety, business operations and productivity, and of course compliance with employment law. However a mandatory obligation to enable remote working may very well change the fundamental working practices of entire sectors, and accelerate home working at an exponential rate. It will certainly be interesting to see what world governments do in this area.

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