Only 2% of workers want to return to offices full time as Covid-19 reshapes workplaces
Only 2% of employees wish to return to offices full time after the coronavirus pandemic is over, a survey from Smartway2 revealed.
The survey found that out of the 200 businesses queried, most workers preferred to split their time between offices and home from now on.
The shift towards more flexibility regarding the workplace is currently influenced by the risks and fears that come with returning to offices during the ongoing pandemic with almost 38% of respondents showing concerns about health and safety in their workplace and 35% worried about the dangers in commuting.
Nevertheless, the survey also showed that most would like to maintain this flexibility in the future, regardless of the end of the pandemic, with only 2% saying they would prefer to return to offices full time.
Smartway2 also found that 78% of people asked believed that the pandemic would serve as a catalyst for the acceleration of the shift towards new ways of working.
Nevertheless there are concerns surrounding the change and the downsides of offices disappearing. Around 40% of those asked admitted that sociability was the main factor which working from home could not provide and 37% responded that spontaneous collaboration with colleagues would be lost without offices.
Regarding the return to the traditional workplace, the Smartway2 poll found that 29% of people had already returned to work despite the restrictions and social distancing put in place by most governments.
Another 46% of survey participants said their companies had plans to return to the office within 6 months. Only 2% didn’t expect to be back within two years.
Commenting on the results of the poll, Smartway2 CEO John T. Anderson said: “These findings indicate a readiness for change in the way we work. With so many people saying they’d prefer to work remotely most of the time, with regular time in the office, organizations are now facing new challenges around enabling greater autonomy.
“This means redefining the idea of the work place and redesigning the employee experience so that we emerge from this pandemic with better ways of working than ever before.”
The survey backs a report published earlier this week by the British Council for Offices which also found that the shift to working from home seems to be permanent or semi-permanent in most cases.
In the survey carried out by the BCO, it was revealed that around 62% of senior executives and 58% of entry-level workers in the UK want to alternate between offices and working from home.
The BCO’s report also looked into the risks of the change and found that most people believed it could harm a younger generation of workers who will not develop networks or skills that can only be acquired by adapting to an office environment.