Research from Randstad – a HR services company – has revealed that over a third of UK remote workers reported to have missed commuting to work.
Randstad UK questioned those that had been working remotely for nearly a year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, asking how they now viewed commuting and attending physical meetings since their working from home experience.
The results suggested a positive attitude to both commuting and physical workspaces have not been eradicated by this prolonged period of remote working – with nearly half of participants claiming that the pandemic hadn’t changed how they view commuting to attend physical meetings, and over a third (34%) going as far to say that they miss them.
The CEO of Randstad UK Victoria Short commented the following on these results: “We were expecting almost everyone to say that they already looked back upon commuting and the endless slew of physical meetings – in the same way most people view the practice of dressing for dinner in the 19th century. But almost twice as many people miss business travel than think it looks outdated.”
“The chance to decompress on the drive home, reading a book on the train or watching Netflix while having a couple of train beers – or the chance to get away from the nightmare of home-schooling and have some free biscuits – is clearly valued more highly than the time people win back by working from home or the benefits or choosing when you work. Working remotely also appears to be damaging people’s mental health to a degree.”
Randstad also collected interesting results regarding employees’ mental health – with 25% out of those polled feeling improvements to their mental wellbeing during this period of remote working, while 27% claimed theirs had deteriorated, and 48% said theirs remained unchanged.
Working in the “New Normal” – A Post Pandemic Workspace
While remote working can, and has, come with its benefits, there is still evidently an enthusiasm to return to offices in London.
Although offices could become considerably different to what we know in a post-pandemic world, this won’t negate their use for businesses and their employees.
Many have attempted to envision what the office will look like once the pandemic is over, one popular belief being that it will be utilised more so as a space for exchanging ideas, facilitating collaboration and boosting a company’s team spirit – the likes of The Spectator suggesting that the office “will essentially become a theatre of work: a giant break-out area for meetings, training and the exchange of ideas.”
Precisely what the future has in store for offices post-pandemic remains, for now, uncertain. However, judging from the likes of Randstad UK’s results, its return is greatly anticipated by many.