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Engineering firms found to be unprepared for remote working shift

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Engineering firms in the UK are one of the least prepared sectors to deal with enforced working from home rules, a report claims.

Researchers at Mitrefinch analysed thousands of job descriptions, employee reviews and forums for the UK’s biggest businesses.

They found that engineering firms have a significant amount of work to do in order to thrive as lockdown restrictions are lifted and people acclimatise to the ‘new normal’.

The research identified the industries and locations that were leading the way in terms of flexible and remote working for staff and which companies would need to make the most changes.

Engineering firms were second worst for offering staff choice when it came to working hours, in addition to being ranked third worst for overall employee flexibility at work (taking into consideration opportunities for remote working). Only the construction industry fell further behind in terms of offering flexible working hours.

To calculate the rankings, thousands of employee reviews were analysed to provide a ranking score for flexible working, remote working and a general overall score. The engineering sector ended up second from bottom of the table.

Employers in the banking, technology and aviation sectors topped the overall rankings, where staff were given the most opportunities to dictate their working hours and location.

Mita Patel, product and development director at Mitrefinch, said: “It’s no secret that the past couple of months have been some of the most challenging for UK businesses in recent years and with some elements of restrictions likely due to remain in place upon lifting the full lockdown, there looks to be significant challenges in the months and years to come.

“The difficulty with the manufacturing industry lies in the traditional nature of roles. Certain tasks can be challenging to perform remotely which leaves these industries falling behind as others make the shift to remote working.

“However, although surprising to many, there are many engineering jobs that can be done remotely. For instance, many administrative tasks can be offloaded to allow managers to use time on site more productively. We are expecting to see a shift like this in these sectors over the next few months.”

In April, an investigation found that hacking activity against corporations in the US and other countries more than doubled since the beginning of their respective lockdowns as digital thieves exploited security weakened by work-from-home policies. 

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