People working from home should have legal right not be contacted out of hours, report suggests

People working from home should have a legal right not to be contacted by employers outside their working hours, a new blueprint for remote working suggests.

The report by a think tank also moots the idea of an expanded allowance – and calls for broadband access to be “levelled up” across the country.

The Autonomy said the shift to remote working triggered by the coronavirus crisis should benefit employees, with remote working increasingly blurring the boundaries between work and home life.

Its report also called for community-owned and employee-led working hubs to be established.

A committee of MPs, local councillors and representatives from unions should be established to oversee the transition from office to remote work, Autonomy added.

Director of research Will Stronge said: “Remote working can bring many benefits but there is a very real danger that it will result in people working more hours with no clear boundaries between work and home life, impacting on mental health.

“Working from home shouldn’t be the only option for remote working going forward. Our blueprint puts forward some of the policies and infrastructures that will be required for the ‘new normal’ to become a net positive for the UK workforce.

“It sets out a plan for maximising the benefits of remote work so that greater free time, greater autonomy in working life and less time commuting are embedded into best practice for the future.”

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