A new study has found that nearly half of all workers (49pc) would look for another job if they are not offered flexible working options post-pandemic. Another indication that this new way of working is here to stay well beyond the end of lockdown.
This comes as the Prime Minister’s “roadmap out of lockdown” is expected to be set out on Monday 22nd of February, with many business leaders looking to this as a guide on when employees will be back into the office.
Research from Theta Global Advisors supports this view, with many concerned about having to commute and the impact of this on their mental health.
– 57% of workers – 11.8 million – do not want to go back to a normal way of working in an office environment with normal office hours
– 65% of working Brits do not feel comfortable commuting to work via public transport anymore and think it will be one of the most stressful parts of their day
– 44% of working Brits are currently working from home and do not expect to return to the office until next year
– 41% of London City workers say the COVID pandemic has encouraged them to look towards consultancy and freelance work or start their own business
– 45% of London City-based workers say the pandemic has made them realise what a poor work-life balance they had pre-lockdown and they will not return to it after COVID
– 63% of City-based workers believe the workplace of the future will have to change drastically for the better to avoid losing its best talent to freelancing and consulting
Chris Biggs, Partner at Theta Global Advisors – an accounting and consultancy disruptor – has commented:
“These statistics are indicative of the wider trend that we are seeing with workplaces up and down the country. We have long offered our employees flexible working options and I do believe that it is the future of work and boosting productivity.
This period has shown that employees working from home can be productive and while some teams will have to return to the office for necessary collaboration, I don’t see offices reaching the occupancy levels of 2019 for a long time.
Business leaders should not rush to get everyone back as soon as the Government announces a start date. They should instead use common sense and judge on a case-by-case basis if their employees want to come back or feel safe to do so. Each person has experienced the pandemic differently, whether that be through home-schooling, being stuck in one room or enjoying not having to commute. So employers should not implement company-wide policy and rather let employees decide their preference.