According to a recent report by Guidant Global, London is experiencing a talent exodus as highly skilled people embrace remote working in smaller cities and towns across the UK. Data shows that Epsom is proving a popular destination with the capital losing three professionals to this location for every two gained. London is also losing five people for every four gained to St Albans, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone, Welwyn Garden City and Leigh on Sea.
There is no doubt that this exodus is related to the pandemic and the enforced Working from Home restrictions, but as these restrictions come to an end how do contractors fare? The London exodus may work in the favour of those contractors who have remained in the capital. Companies who want their staff back in the office may find those who commute have found alternative employment nearer to home, leaving a gap in resource which could be tricky if this resource is engaged in a project with a looming deadline. Clearing down that project will be priority for the company. A contractor with an appropriate skillset will be well placed to pick up where the staff member has left off. Undertaking the project at the client’s premises may be up for discussion particularly where the contractor can demonstrate they
- work in a professional and appropriate home-office environment
- have the right software to perform the role they are engaged to do
- have put processes in place to work efficiently
- can protect the data they are working on and aware of GDPR risks associated with that data and working from home
- have in place performance measures to monitor their progress/productivity
There may also be the opportunity for a contractor to utilise the Work from Home system to their advantage and negotiate the contract outside of IR35 and utilise their limited company. Clearly the contractor won’t be under close supervision nor utilising the resources of the client to carry out their assignment (e.g. IT kit, telephone, facilities). With less time committed to commuting and more flexibility on working times it may be possible for multiple engagements to be carried out over the same period of time. London-based contractors would be wise to keep an eye on the press for companies who are looking to return their workforce back to the office and should brush up on their CV to make the most of the opportunity of living and working in the capital.