A recent survey conducted by Morgan Stanley analysts revealed only 34% of office workers in the UK have returned to their normal place of work. This represents a considerably small percentage, particularly when compared to areas in Europe such as France, Spain, Italy and Germany, all of which have figures ranging from 70% – 80% and above.
The survey also revealed that in London specifically, a near half of all office workers across the capital are remote working five days a week, compared to the 33% and under working in the likes of greater Paris, Madrid and Milan.
Some have reported that this comparatively small percentage in workers returning to the office could be down to certain European countries entering lockdown earlier than the UK. Whilst the government guidance has been for people to work from home if and where possible, as COVID-related restrictions begin to ease, many employers have begun to grapple with plans on how manage their operations both effectively and safely.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the way the world operates, countries across the world having now been in and out of lockdowns, attempting to slow the spread of the virus and save the lives of those most vulnerable to it. Whilst a necessary step, these lockdowns and subsequent COVID-related restrictions have caused significant blows to the working world, many businesses having shut up shop and worked from home where possible.
Whilst measures have somewhat eased, Brits from across the country have been told to stay alert and help prevent the spread of infection. Face masks have been made mandatory in various areas, and hand sanitising regularly is encouraged whilst in public. However, although restrictions have begun to ease, anxieties around the pandemic are still very much prevalent throughout the UK, and across the world.
With the global pandemic still a major source of stress for many Brits, it’s easy to see why much of the UK’s workforce would prefer to stay at home. Parents of young children may also be more inclined to work from home where possible, helping them to scale back on childcare provisions during the summer holiday period.
All this in addition to potential savings to be had, both in time and money, that would’ve otherwise been spent on commuting to work, has left many preferring the remote working lifestyle.
However, whilst remote working has provided some great positives for now, working Brits have still been found to want a combination of remote and office-based working in a post-COVID world.
As the UK emerges from lockdown slightly later than other countries, only time will tell precisely how this global pandemic will have reshaped the way the working world operates.