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Growing volume of workers returning to the office

15 July 2021

With England set to remove the majority of Covid-19 restrictions from 19 July, a recent survey shows an increasing number of workers are keen to return to their office.

According to the survey, 84% of those surveyed said they wish to return to the office once they have been vaccinated.

An additional 75% stated their employer had kept their office open throughout the course of the pandemic.

This has been further endorsed by the PFM Editorial Advisory Board, with the majority of members instructed to keep their facilities open to provide support for colleagues unable to work from home for any reason.

The survey, published by Office Space in Town (OSiT), compared the results of the latest study with the previous survey conducted in May 2020.

This showed an 18% increase in workers stating their mental health had been negatively affected by working from home during the third lockdown, rising to a figure of 51%.

Concerns were also raised about other factors in working from home, with 43% citing distractions were the most difficult to deal with.

Other negative aspects included difficulty in collaborating with colleagues (41%) and an inability to switch off (39%).

Those appreciating reduced commuting fell by 6% to 66% of respondents, compared to the May 2020 study, with 55% stating they had saved money and 15% finding it easier to accommodate childcare requirements.

Thoughts were also shared on returning to the workplace, with 56% stating that flexible working hours (to avoid peak commuting times) and hand sanitisers on desk would help to reduce concerns.

A further 48% said the use of screens and temperature checks on arrival (40%), would provide reassurance on workplace safety.

Although the Covid-19 restrictions are due to ease on Monday, the majority of employers have reported that they will implement a gradual return to the workplace, which will include a typical continued working from home allowance of two days per week.

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