Almost a Quarter of Workers ‘Haven’t Missed Anything’ About the Workplace
Almost a quarter of employees in the UK admit to not missing anything about the workplace, according to new research by national property specialist Matthews & Goodman.
The survey asked more than 800 people what they missed most about the workplace, with 24% responding with ‘nothing’, which was the third most common response. The most missed thing about the workplace was people missing their friends and teammates at work (53%), which was followed by small talk at the coffee machine or water cooler (27%).
David Laws, Partner at Matthews & Goodman, said: “As restrictions continue to be lifted and more people return to a work environment, it’s surprising that some haven’t missed anything about being in the workplace, despite striving for a sense of normality following a very unpredictable year.
“An explanation for this might be the change in the way the workplace environment is seen. Work is no longer a destination but an activity - one that can be done in an office, at home, on the move, in a coffee bar, anywhere. In essence, work is no longer somewhere you go, but something that you do. Our survey revealed that most people are looking for a mixture of working from home and work.”
Most participants (43%) would prefer a mixture of working at home and in the office, with 30% preferring to work from home all the time and 26% happy for a full return to their workplace. One respondent said: “Working in the workplace is more efficient, such as spending less time on communication and having better executive ability. Working from home is more suitable for family needs and flexible working hours”.
Another respondent commented: “I prefer working from home but would find it useful to still have the option of seeing people face to face in the office”, while another one said: “I miss interacting with colleagues in person, but don’t enjoy the commute into the office”.
In relation to accommodating a blended workplace, the survey revealed that 55% of workers will be allowed to work from home following the pandemic. When a similar survey was conducted last year, before the pandemic, 43% of workplaces allowed working from home.
David Laws said: “It is great to see that more businesses are understanding the benefits of working from home. One of the key lessons both business owners and staff have learnt through the pandemic is about their expenses. Many businesses have had the time to review the amount they spend on occupational costs, such as the price they pay for the workplace, while employees have benefitted from not having to pay for (and spend time on) the commute.
“While it may not be possible for all workers across all sectors to adopt a hybrid workplace, it is important that employers expecting workers to attend full time have implemented sufficient protections from coronavirus to keep staff safe and healthy.”
When respondents were asked what concerns they had over working in the workplace, the biggest concern was not knowing whether someone sick comes in, with 46% citing this.
This was followed by:
- Shared surfaces, such as door knobs and touch screens (38%)
- Being indoors with a lack of proper ventilation (37%)
- Too many people in the workplace (35%)
- Inadequate or infrequent cleaning (26%)
Workers were also asked to rate the effectiveness of coronavirus safety measures in the workplace. They find having a frequent handwashing requirement in place as the most effective, with 77%. This was followed by increased or more thorough workplace cleaning (73%) and mask requirements (69%).
The least effective safety measures, according to the survey respondents, were maintaining social distancing (20%), minimising shared surfaces (19%), and reducing shared workplace treats (15%).
More than half (52%) would consider looking for a new job, if their employer fails to follow guidelines.