One in three Brits not expecting office return until at least next year

17 August 2020, 13:48

File photo: The commercial towers of the City of London financial district
File photo: The commercial towers of the City of London financial district. Picture: PA

By Megan White

One in three British workers does not think they will not be back in their office or other workplace until at least next year, according to a new survey.

25 per cent of staff said they expect to return to their place of work in 2021, while eight per cent said they are likely to work from home indefinitely.

Many Brits switched to working from spare rooms and kitchen tables across the country when the coronavirus pandemic forced the country into lockdown earlier this year.

But 45 per cent of the 4,001 workers polled by YouGov said they expect to be back in the office before the end of December.

Just over a fifth of employees were unsure when they would return.

Vivek Dodd, chief operating officer of e-learning and compliance company Skillcast, which commissioned the research, said: "This latest study shows that working from home will remain with us for the foreseeable future.

"These are warning signals for companies to invest in strengthening measures to support their remote workers and manage their compliance risks."

Staff at bigger companies - those with more than 250 employees - were more likely to think it could be a while before they are back in the office.

Only 42 per cent expect to return this year, and 30 per cent say next year is more likely.

This compares with small companies with between 10 and 49 staff, where 55 per cent expect to be back this year, and 13% say next year.

More than half of workers – 56 per cent - said their employer is telling them to continue to work from home.

Only 9 per cent said they are being prevented from returning to the office because of uncertainty over when schools will reopen.

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Four in five said they would prefer to regularly do at least one day a week from the comfort of their own homes, while an additional 7 per cent would like the flexibility to work from home when needed.

YouGov surveyed 4,001 adults between July 23 and August 5 in an online poll of people selected from its database of more than 800,000.

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