Once Government measures allow, Britain is set to move to a ‘mixed’ working style, with time in the office balanced with time at home, new independent polling commissioned by the British Council for Offices (BCO), suggests.
The survey, which polled over 2,000 office workers nationwide, took place prior to new Government measures and found an appetite to get back to the office. Asked about how they planned to work for the next six months, almost half of office workers (46 per cent) intended to split their work between home and the office, while 30 per cent were set for a full, five-day-a-week return to the office. Office sceptics appear to have been silenced, though, as only 15 per cent of respondents planned to only work from home. The survey also found that most office workers did return to their office in August, with 64 per cent having spent some time in the office since August 1st, and almost a quarter (24 per cent) having worked a full week back at their desk.
Some plans may be put on hold for now, given new Government guidance, but the survey suggests a new approach to how we intend to work in the medium-to-long term.
What’s more, our new hybrid habits span hierarchies. At the top end, 62 per cent of C-suite respondents planned to split their time between the home and the office, while 58 per cent of trainees aimed to do the same.
Home working poses problems for young workers
Respondents also highlighted the importance of the office to career development, with 71 per cent stating that the office is important for developing networks and learning. Meanwhile, 65 per cent said their career has been helped by relationships forged in the office and 71 per cent agreed the office is important for forming connections with colleagues.
As a new generation of graduates enters the working world, this suggests remote working may cause difficulties for young employees, who are yet to form networks and arguably gain most from seeing how their colleagues work.
Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the British Council for Offices, said: “Our way of working is changing, and a new, mixed working approach is becoming popular. This does not mean the end of the office. The office is valuable for career development, which relies on forming networks and the informal lessons that come from watching senior colleagues operate. This is particularly true for young people, who would suffer if working from home ever became totally predominant.”
A survey conducted by Moneypenny in August found that while 48 per cent of those returning to the workplace had some concerns about Covid risks, most were happier if their employers took every measure possible to ensure social distancing.
Front of house
FMJ is hosting a joint webinar with Moneypenny, Front of house; first impressions count, where we will discuss how organisations can maintain a seamless front of house service by employing the latest communications tools. This session will advise organisations who are struggling to ensure that both visitor and telephone enquirers are dealt with in a professional and efficient manner, while maintaining the safety and health of both staff and visitors.
The webinar will take place on the 7th October at 11am and will be chaired by Sara Bean, Editor of FMJ alongside Jess Pritchard Commercial Manager – Corporate, Moneypenny.
To register for the webinar click here.