Will we work in the sun now?

By Phillip Cooke

In a previous blog I wrote about the changes that would emerge around the home-working trends tipped to emerge from the COVID-19 experience. Today I heard, from a reputable source, of a highly respected travel company boss about a trend he sees emerging. His business specialises in high quality properties and villas across the Mediterranean, and he reports a lot of enquiries — presumably in the light of the anticipated certainty provided by a post vaccine world in 2021 — for 4 week lets next summer.

He explains it thus: “people are going to need a real break next summer, so why not 4 weeks? Two weeks on annual leave and the rest as working from the holiday home. Given that COVID-19 has taught a lot of business leaders that their people can be trusted to work from home, why couldn’t this happen? Of course, the question is raises is what would it require in terms of a mindset and behavioural shift for it to happen? If both parties maintained the right level of trust, why not? And if there is a pressing problem at home, there is always a daily low-cost flight to get ‘back to the ranch’ within 4 hours; sort out the problem and then back with the family next day.

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, declared the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to herald a day to remember in a year to forget. If half the workplace changes suggested to come out of COVID-19 were to happen, I suspect 2020 would in fact be a year very much to remember; and that would be change on a large scale.