Our vision

The future of working from home

This paper looks at how we can improve working from home with COVID-19 causing a shift away from in-person work.

A computer with the words "Computer says no: The issues with vaccine passports and NHS IT systems (Briefing paper). Jasneet Samrai, September 7th, 2021. Centre Think Tank ISSN 2634-4696".

The future of working from home: Protecting working from home during COVID-19

This paper will explore how working from home can be encouraged more after the COVID-19 outbreak. It will explore the current UK laws on the issue, how other countries handle and encourage working from home (Finland, Germany and the Netherlands) and what policy proposals we would support the UK taking up with these other countries in mind.

Quick summary

  • With the COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing still in place, working from home has suddenly become a new normal. Even when things return to normal, the option to work from home should remain.
  • Working from home has benefits including reducing long distance travel and, as a result, emissions. In the fight against climate change working from home provides a way of reducing emissions without disruption.
  • In the UK employees have the right to request flexible working, which includes working from home. However, there is little protection for workers if their employer denies their request.
  • Germany has successfully created a legal framework to protect workers who want to work from home and it also looks likely to introduce a law to allow them to work at home as a right.
  • The Netherlands already has 14.1% of its workforce working from home, even before COVID-19. The UK needs to copy their protections for those who work at home.
  • Working from home requires universally high broadband connectivity. Without this those in rural areas or areas with low internet speeds are unlikely to be able to benefit from working from home.
  • Finland has also been championing working from home. We need to copy collective bargaining and workers on company boards which helps to protect the ability to work from home.
  • The UK needs to make it so that businesses must prove people cannot work at home if they are denying them the ability to do so. Workers must also have access to high internet speeds and 20% of the seats on company boards.


Torrin Wilkins

Director and Founder

Torrin founded Centre in 2020. In the role has written numerous papers including one backed by the Gaps in Support APPG which contained 260 MPs. He has also written policies for political parties and appeared on a wide range of media including TV and radio. He has a Political Studies degree from Aberystwyth University.

Janey Little

Janey is a member of the Liberal Democrats and won a British Education Award in 2020.