July 30, 2021

Over half of the UK is happy to work from home indefinitely

More than half of the UK is happy to work from home indefinitely, according to a new survey of 1,000 office workers.

The researchers set out to identify how the nation is feeling about working from home once more, as, in accordance with the revised government guidance, many UK workers are packing up their desks and heading back home again.

The research was carried out by Moneypenny, the outsourced communication provider – here’s what they found:

How many want to return to work?

  • Over half (54%) of UK office workers are happy to continue working from home for as long as necessary.
  • 30% stated they are happy to continue working from home, but do however miss the office.

So, how many workers have returned already, according to researchers?

  • After the relaxing of the original COVID-19 measures, 70% of the UK workforce headed back to the office, 47% of those on a full-time basis.
  • Furthermore, 47% returned on a part-time basis, splitting their time between working from home and the office. 6% of workers were also introduced to staggered hours.

West Midlands’ office workers (41%) were the most likely to go back to the office full time. On the other hand, those in Yorkshire (20%), were least likely to go back.

The return to work from home

Now, with the COVID-19 infection rate rising, workers have been advised to work from home wherever possible.

  • 37% of those originally returned to the office, have now reverted to working from home once more.

What are the regional Patterns?

When looking at the regional data, 57% of office workers in the South East have now returned to working from home. Yorkshire saw the lowest occurrence of this activity with only 26% back to work from home – but an additional 42% of Yorkshire workers stated they were awaiting preparations allowing them to return to working from home.

On the whole, only 21% of workers have stated they will continue to work in the office.

Those in the North East (30%) and East Midlands (31%) revealed that they too were staying put in the office environment.

What do employees say they like about work from home?

With over half of the UK stating they are happy to continue to work from home, the survey shows why working from home is the more preferable option for many – a whopping 59% of respondents say they enjoy not spending time and money on the commute.

Secondly, being able to dress in casual clothes was another popular aspect of not working in an office (52%). 26% stated that not having to wear make-up was another advantage of working from home.

The freedom to decide when breaks were taken was another favourable choice with respondents, 42% stated this was the best aspect of working from home.

Personal factors such as more time to spend with a partner or children (31%) or more time spent with pets (26%) were also popular choices amongst respondents.

What do employees miss about the office?

There are some elements of the office that workers say they have missed.

39% stated that they miss their colleagues. Interestingly, 4% miss their ‘work husband/wife’, however, the vast majority (90%) said they were in contact with them socially at least once a month. A further 9% miss their office chair. 7% miss their desk and other office environment aspects.

10% of UK office workers found working from home to be difficult, 14% confessed to being less productive without an “office routine”.

What can employers learn from ‘work from home’?

The study also explored what employees would like to see incorporated into the office after their work from home experience – and it seems, pets are the winner – 22% of workers stated upon return to the office, they would take their dog with them, similarly, 17% shared that they would take their cat.

35% of respondents said they would like to see their office adopt a comfortable dress code – with 11% saying they would like to continue wearing their pyjamas and 12% slippers!

In addition, 20% of office workers say they will miss their gardens and 11% of workers said they would love to take their view with them upon return to the office!

However, 19% said they would not take anything back to the office from their working from home routine.

The full report can be found here: https://www.moneypenny.com/uk/resources/blog/remote-working-survey/