Sunday Jan 29, 2023

Top Fears Brits Have About Returning To The Office – Onrec


The return to the office begins: 

  • 50% of Brits want the hybrid working system to be a permanent feature moving forward
  • Top fears Brits have about returning to the office after the Covid lockdown include sharing coffee machines and hotdesking
  • 34% of those polled would like to see their employer focus more on mental health and wellbeing
  • Britons working at home during the Covid crisis spend more time on the job 

Hybrid working – the new normal

The pandemic has given Britons a taste of the work-from-home lifestyle, and the results of a new survey conducted by office equipment experts Avansas show that many would love this to be the new normal. Of the 2000 Brits surveyed, Avansas found that 5 in 10 Brits (50%) want the hybrid working system – work from home a few days a week – to be a permanent feature. 

Fifty-four per cent of women want working from home a few days a week to be a permanent feature versus the 44% of male respondents.  

Results also vary by region:

  • Almost a quarter of respondents from East Anglia (24%) are happy to go back to the office for 2 days
  • 3 days a week is the preferred number of office work days with 29% of London workers and 22% of workers in the East Midlands and Wales 
  • 27% of workers in Northern Ireland are prepared to go in for 4 days a week 
  • 25% of residents in Yorkshire and the Humber are willing to go in 5 days a week

According to a YouGov study, 47% of adults think business shouldn’t be encouraging staff to return to the office if they have been able to WFH, with over a quarter of adults (26%) saying they would work from their bed if they could.

Top fears Brits have about returning to the office

Positively, almost a quarter of those surveyed feel the office is completely safe to return to and, in contrast, only 18% fear the office is not very safe. Many of the reasons include fears of touching door handles and buttons, having multiple people in the same ‘confined’ space all day and the actual commute into the office. Fifty-three per cent of those surveyed feel the office is somewhat safe.

Other worries include the fear of multiple people using the water/coffee/vending machines in the office (22%) and the kitchen sponge (14%). 

Britons working at home spend more time on the job

The survey also found that home workers are putting in more hours since Covid, with 11% of those surveyed working between 1-2 hours more and 12% working 3-4 more hours a week.

Mustafa Ergene, International Sales and Marketing Director for Avansas, said: “More employers should be thinking of ways to create safe and flexible working environments for their staff. Naturally, there will be concerns surrounding the topic of working from the office, particularly after we have become accustomed to working from home for so long. 

Collaboration, trust and mutual respect between employees and employers will be absolutely crucial in making the move back into the workplace. From hybrid working arrangements to fully remote opportunities, more options are now up for discussion in places where they may not have been before.”


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