FEWER people in Gwent are working from the office than they were before the pandemic, despite most restrictions coming to an end.

Research suggests home-working means around 30 per cent fewer workers are in offices in Monmouthshire than there were in March 2020, according to Google location data.

In Newport and Caerphilly, around one in four (27 per cent) of office workers continue to do their job from home, while in Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen, the figure is around 15 per cent.

In Wales, a legal requirement to work from home ended on January 28.

The Institute for the Future of Work, an independent research and development body, said lockdown restrictions acted as a catalyst for more remote work, with some employers and employees keen to retain the benefits.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), which provides impartial workplace advice, said the Google figures match their own research that over half of employers expected an increase in remote working for part of the week, once the pandemic was over.

And the Welsh Government has set its own target - that the nation will move to around 30 per cent home-working in the long run.

ACAS chief executive Susan Clews said firms should remember some employees may not be keen to continue working from home.

“Hybrid or home working may not be practical for everyone and there are different types of flexible working that may work better," she advised.

We asked our readers how they would feel if their bosses asked them to keep working from home after the pandemic.

As Ms Clews suggested, there were mixed opinions.

Several people suggested they would be happy to continue with home-working.

Nicola Helen Konig said she would "love it".

"[I'd] get more work done with no distractions and no hassle of commuting two-plus hours at least a day," she added.

Kate Elsmore-Smith called home-working "the best thing ever" because it "saves time and money [and] most of all, it's more productive".

Jill Difford said: "[I] don’t want to go back into the office unless for a meeting or a get together. [I] work much better at home, no distractions or office politics."

Dave Smith said the "work/life balance" is better with home-working.

"I get more than enough social interaction outside of work, so I don’t feel the need to be in the office," he added.

But other readers are not so keen.

Katy Stevenson said she would be "upset" to continue home-working.

"I hated working from home and hope I never have to do it again," she added.

Debra King also said she would "prefer to be in the office".

Sharon Wesgate, meanwhile, said home-working would mean spending more on "extra gas and electric".

And Steven Way expressed concerns about the motivations for continued home-working.

"Bosses want you to work from home so you can't phone in sick, because you're working from home anyway," he said.