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68% of Scots in public sector value remote working, poll shows

A report has found employees ‘really value flexible learning, hybrid models and remote working’ (Lauren Hurley/PA)
A report has found employees ‘really value flexible learning, hybrid models and remote working’ (Lauren Hurley/PA)

More than two in three Scots working in the public sector said they were more likely to stay in a job which lets them work from home, a new poll has found.

Some 68% of public sector workers told a survey for the Open University they would be more likely to stay in a job which allowed remote or hybrid working, while eight in 10 said learning and development was key to job satisfaction.

As part of the report into public sector skills, Embracing Flexibility, 503 workers in the sector north of the border told YouGov about their jobs.

Marie Hendry, the depute director of The Open University in Scotland (Open University)

Marie Hendry, depute director of The Open University in Scotland, said: “Our survey demonstrates that employees really value flexible learning, hybrid models and remote working, suggesting they are here for the long term in many job roles.”

The report, published in partnership with Public Sector Executive, found a lack of flexibility was hindering training since almost a quarter of respondents cite a lack of flexible working hours as a factor preventing public sector employees from participating in training opportunities.

And pollsters found a desire for flexibility is even carried through to learning, with blended learning shown to be the preferred learning style at 56% and distance learning at 29%.

Ms Hendry said: “This report outlines the challenge for public sector leaders. The future will require more choice, driving better awareness, and rethinking the way learning is delivered in the workplace.”

The report, released on Monday, also found that 36% of Scottish public sector workers wanted to improve their digital skills, while more than one in four respondents felt unsure about what training was on offer for their role.

Amanda Spark, organisational development programme manager, Improvement Service, said: “The demands made on the workforce and the expectations placed on staff are constantly changing, and it is imperative that we support the workforce to adapt to this pace of change.

“Learning and development is crucial as we seek to improve, innovate and find new, better ways of working. It can help change mindsets and open-up thinking.”

The report covered all four nations of the UK and asked 2,600 public sector workers as part of the largest recent survey of its kind.