Latest findings show that as many as 67% of employees are reluctant to return to the office, with business leaders themselves also concerned about going back into work.
The study, conducted by Unispace, combined the results of an in-depth survey of 3,000 office workers, 2,750 employers in leadership roles at organisations with 50+ employees, and interviews with global senior leaders in Real Estate, HR and Operations
One of the main reasons cited for not wanting to return to the office was the commute – 41% welcomed the extra time they’d have by not travelling to work and 31% said they didn’t want to spend extra money going back to the office.
Interestingly, 75% of workers said that an employer paying for their travel costs would encourage them back into the office and 73% said having free lunches would be a reason to return.
However, the steps being taken to entice employees back into the workplace are not aligned with what employees themselves actually want. For example, business respondents reported introducing the following new measures:
- Heightened safety protocols (cited by 40%)
- Having flexible start times (36%)
- Separate spaces for collaboration and quiet working (32%)
Lawrence Mohiuddine, CEO EMEA at Unispace, commented, “The UK and Ireland were two of the few countries polled across Europe where employers were more reluctant to return than their employees. While we can certainly see a clear trend in concerns around the commute for workers in these two locations, the mismatch between the incentives that businesses are implementing and what employees really want to feel encouraged back to the workplace does suggest some employers only understand their workforce at a surface-level.
“With so many employees indicating a desire for workplace improvements, there is clearly a need to re-think workspaces across the UK and Ireland to encourage employees back.”
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