LONDON - 19th October 2020 - Almost a third of office workers, 29%, have already returned to their offices, but workplace experts cannot agree whether a full-time return to work is best for UK business productivity. Workers agree.
While nearly two thirds of employees, 63%, don’t believe they’re more productive working from home full time, nearly half, 45%, believe they are equally productive working from home or the office.
The figures from a recent survey of 189 office-based workers carried out by UK-based office software experts, SmartWay2, also showed when working from home only 36% of office workers felt they were more productive. Around half this number, 19%, felt more productive in the office, perhaps reflecting the psychological impact of missing the sociability that the office provides.
The ideal solution seems to be a blend. Just under half of those polled, 45%, say their productivity is the same regardless of where they work and 91% of people expressed a desire to split their time between home and the office.
Steve Vatidis, Executive Chairman of SmartWay2 commented: “Despite COVID disruption, workers are learning how to return to their offices. But like the ever-changing lockdown measures, these results show there is no simple ‘one size fits all’ solution. Employers are under pressure to grant greater autonomy to their workforce. But they still have a lot of work to do to convince their teams of the productivity benefits offered by showing up at modern workplaces which are COVID-safe.”
Looking further out, nearly one in five, 18%, also expect employees in their organisation to return to offices by autumn 2021. However, with the current uncertainty and a Second Wave underway, office flexibility will be key for employers looking to maximise productivity from their workforce, geographically distributed forcibly or out or choice, as the situation changes.
Vatidis concludes: “Organisations that can provide a COVID-safe working environment, combined with flexibility of scheduling for when workers come into the office, will be at a distinct advantage for managing the upcoming period of change.
Employers need to be able to communicate regularly with employees and provide reassurance on safety measures and flexible working arrangements to make them feel comfortable with the environment.”
Notes to editors:
TABLE OF RESPONSES
Answer choices to “how do you feel about your productivity when working from home?”
I am more productive working from home
I am more productive working from the office
My productivity is the same whether at home or in the office
Answer choices to “When do you think employees in your organization will return to the workplace?”
We have already returned to work
Within 6 months
Within 12 months
Within 18 months
Smartway2 is a privately held, global company with headquarters in Marlborough, Massachusetts, US. The company provides next-generation workplace scheduling technology, leveraging space utilization data to drive productivity and collaboration. With operations in the U.S., Europe and APAC, Smartway2 provides enterprise solutions worldwide, across industries including legal, government, technology, pharma, manufacturing and finance. For more information visit: www.smartway2.com.
Camilla Holroyd / Courtney Rowan
0207 637 0640
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