Only one in four businesses (27%) know how to return their staff to the office safely after Lockdown, new research released today shows. The survey, conducted by Yonder on behalf of Cignpost Express Test, found that half of UK businesses (51%) will only ask vaccinated employees to return to the office and 48% intend to carry out regular COVID testing for their workforce. Just 31% are intending a full time return to the office with 33% planning a part time return by the end of the year.
With testing becoming more accessible and the Government’s Roadmap to the ending of restrictions set out until June, the research was commissioned by leading COVID testing company Cignpost Express Test to understand the preparedness of UK businesses in planning a return to the office.
Key findings include:
- Only half (54%) of businesses had formulated a plan to return to the office, with the highest proportion (72%) in London and the lowest (38%) in the East of England.
- Two thirds of those surveyed currently believe it is right for employers to organise regular testing to keep their staff safe when they return to work.
- 59% of businesses in Scotland and 54% in the North East of England have made plans to return, whereas less than half (45%) of businesses based in the West Midlands and the South-West have made similar arrangements.
- 4 in 10 businesses do not have a full understanding of the different COVID tests available.
- Concerns over mental health or loneliness of employees (48%) and worries about profitability. (47%) are key drivers in the desire for business to return to offices and other workplaces.
Nick Markham, co-founder of Cignpost Express Test said, “Over the past year, Cignpost has helped many organisations to continue to operate in their place of work, from sports and film production to defence and finance. With the end of lockdown restrictions on the horizon, this research shows that many businesses are confused about how to return their employees to the office quickly and safely.
“It is clear that every business needs a step-by-step COVID safety plan to help them return their staff to working normally in offices again.”