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49% of UK home workers miss the office, finds poll

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A new poll has revealed that home workers are divided between those thriving and those desperate to get back to the office.


The YouGov survey of 1,195 employees showed that 41 per cent of home workers say they have an “inappropriate” working environment. Two-thirds (64 per cent) said they have resorted to make-shift arrangements at dining room tables, sofas and beds. Just a quarter (24 per cent) said they have the luxury of a separate home office space.

Chris Moriarty, director of insight at the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM), which commissioned the survey, said firms should factor individual workers’ home work set-up in their plans for returning to offices post lockdown.

“Those parked up on sofas and on dining room tables are missing the connectivity and productivity of an office environment more than those with dedicated home-office setups,” he said.

Those employees with separate home office spaces were more likely to want to keep their home working arrangements, the poll found

He added: “When lockdown is lifted, and we see limits to the number of people allowed within an office building at any one time, businesses may look to use employees’ home work set up as a criteria for who should return, and when.”

The poll showed there is almost a 50-50 divide on the matter. Half (49 per cent) of home workers surveyed are looking forward to getting back to the office, but 53 per cent feel the lockdown has encouraged them to work from home in future. A third (34 per cent) are worried about getting used to a corporate office culture again.

Moriarty added: “The key thing is that businesses are mindful not to treat home versus office working as a binary choice but part of a strategic approach to support work wherever it can best take place.

“They should look to strike a balance between providing compelling reasons to return to a corporate space with flexible working policies and an investment in supporting a productive home working set-up.”

IWFM's survey here

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