Fewer than one in six want to work in office full time

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Only 15% of workers want to return to the office full time, with the majority favouring a hybrid working arrangement.

According to HR software provider CIPHR, 73% would take a pay cut in order to continue working from home in some capacity on a permanent basis when government guidance around home working is lifted.

Seventy-two per cent wanted to split their time between the workplace and home, and 11% wanted to work remotely full time.

Although most wanted to continue to visit the office in some capacity, organisations still had some work to do in order to convince staff that their workplaces were safe. Three-quarters of the 1,022 UK workers polled felt somewhat or very concerned about Covid-19 if they were asked to return to the office.

Fifty-eight per cent said employers should add hand sanitisers throughout the building to protect them, 48% wanted to see the frequency of workplace cleaning increased, and 47% wanted organisations to limit the number of people visiting buildings each day.

Only 24% said that staff should be required to provide evidence of being vaccinated  in order to return to the office. Creating one-way systems throughout the workplace (32%) and requiring employees to have their temperature checked before entering buildings (34%) were also unpopular.

“When it comes to returning to the workplace there’s clearly a disconnect between what employees feel is going to be required of them and what they would actually do given the choice,” said CIPHR director of people and services Claire Williams.

“Employers need to be aware that the majority of people have a preference for working remotely in some capacity and they risk losing the skills and experience of some great people if they’re inflexible in their approach to remote working. Furthermore, employers may find it difficult to reject flexible working requests within the legal framework, on the basis that most employees have successfully worked from home whilst potentially also juggling childcare.

“That coupled with the introduction of new technology in daily ways of working hopefully paves the way for more flexible employers across the board.”

The survey also asked about workers’ attitudes to travel during the pandemic. Forty per cent felt employers should have the ability to prevent employees from going on holiday abroad due to Covid-19 concerns.

This finding was released as passengers scrambled to return to the UK before Portugal is added to the government’s amber list for travel. Workers that return to the UK from Portugal after 4am tomorrow (8 June) will have to self-isolate for 10 days.

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