Nearly a third of UK workers are actively looking forward to returning to physical workplaces in the coming days and weeks because they feel it will improve their mental health, a poll has suggested.
The survey of 2,000 employees from information services company Infogrid has come as the government’s advice in England to work from home has now been removed.
The poll found 32% of working Britons felt returning to their offices would improve their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
The top reasons cited for wanting to return to the office included working in a positive social environment (35%), having a reason to leave the house (26%), not having to worry about being cold at home (25%), and the daily commute providing time to transition between home and work life (23%).
The research also argued going into the office increased workplace performance, with 44% of the employees polled feeling working in a physical workplace improved their productivity. However, hybrid working – or where the working week is split between home and the office – was still the most popular post-pandemic working model, preferred by 38%, compared to 25% who said they would prefer to return to working from an office full time.
Mental health and work
Nearly one in three (29%) remained concerned about ventilation in their workplace and 26% are worried about feeling too hot or cold.
Employees wanted to see their employers implementing more efficient and regular cleaning services (38%), better control over the number of people in the workplace (31%) and the installation of better facilities to reduce virus risk (30%).
William Cowell de Gruchy, CEO at Infogrid, said: “It is clear that for hundreds of thousands of Brits, being able to go to the office or their physical workplace is a necessary part of maintaining their mental wellbeing, and many feel more productive in that setting too.
“A key take-away from the pandemic must be that managing virus risk and keeping employees safe is a long-term necessity, that brings with it benefits both for the health of employees, as well as increasing productivity,” he added.