News of the first vaccines for the coronavirus arriving in the UK could see employees returning to the office sooner than most anticipate. A survey of 700 UK employees by Publicis Sapient also revealed that 47 per cent of employees would feel more comfortable returning to the office if an effective vaccine programme is rolled out.
However, the main reasons why workers are reluctant to make the return to the office are health concerns, with many worried about the office lacking in enhanced hygiene procedures. 40 per cent are concerned about being exposed to the coronavirus at the office, and 36 per cent have concerns about the commute.
The survey has revealed that the majority of UK workers are in favour of a hybrid working model, which dispels the ‘end of the office’ predictions cast earlier in the year. Only 10 per cent of employees are in favour of a full-time return to the office.
Despite the advantages of saving money and time on the daily commute, many are still struggling to adjust to remote working, and the survey revealed that just under a third of people have difficulties with distractions at home, and 27 per cent lack motivation at home.
Flexible work hours and the ability to work from home top the list of benefits that people want a future employer to provide.
But it may take some time to convince business owners to adopt a hybrid model. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that two-thirds of businesses want to scrap working from home once the pandemic is over, and only 19 per cent intend to forgo office space in favour of remote working.
“The global workforce is settling into the work-from-home normal, most are desiring more flexibility once offices reopen. Returning to the office will be largely dependent on the widespread distribution of a trusted vaccine,” said Teresa Barreira, CMO of Publicis Sapient.
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