Sunday, 9th August 2020

One third of UK workers ‘reluctant to return’ to offices post-lockdown

Research from HR platform e-days shows 60% of us are reluctant or unsure about returning to the office.

Employee research from e-days, the absence management company used by companies like ASOS and Monster Energy, has revealed that one third of employees are ‘reluctant to return’ to offices as lockdown eases in the UK. A survey of UK workers showed that 60% were reluctant or unsure about returning to the office on grounds of safety. Just over a third felt they were ready to go back to their offices.

Government advice to employers will change as of August 1st, 2020. Business leaders will be able to make decisions based on their workforce and whether they wish them to return to the office or not. This will add to what already promises to be a tricky, phased return to office spaces, as teams across the country are also facing another reason for depleted teams, with three in five employees planning to book holiday now the lockdown has eased, creating a huge resource strain on business in the second half of this year.

These results come from a snapshot poll of 100 employees and sounded a few alarm bells for businesses as we emerge from lockdown. As well as the significant number of respondents planning to book holiday after July 4, the day a large amount of travel and hospitality restrictions were lifted, a concerning 29% of employees had no intention to book holiday at all. This raises questions on both issues of holiday debt as well as employee burnout.

Steve Arnold, CEO of e-days, commented: “There are significant challenges ahead for businesses as we move towards the next ‘return to work’ stage. Employees will find It difficult to change behaviours and mindsets, not to mention process changing government advice. These sentiments reveal a need for leaders to proactively manage leave planning and be aware of wellbeing during this time, so they can both ensure resourcing levels as well as productivity and a happy workforce.”

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