ondon’s workers are the least happy to return to the office full-time, despite more than 6 in 10 being unhappy with their current remote work set-up, says new research.
More than half (57%) of those polled said they’d be happiest with a hybrid of working remotely and at their workplace. Meanwhile, more than one in 10 (14%) even said they’d consider changing jobs if their employer didn’t offer a good balance between the two.
Nationally, 36% of workers would be happy to return to the office full time – much higher than the London figure of 22%, according to a poll from life insurance broker LifeSearch.
The Health, Wealth and Happiness Index is compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) on behalf of LifeSearch. It monitors data relating to people’s physical, financial and mental health.
The latest update to the index found the nation’s health, wealth and happiness are the best they’ve been since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic began, rising 22% since the last update.
‘Help, support and flexibility’
LifeSearch’s Emma Walker said: “There has been a bit of an assumption that most people living in London have liked being able to work from home at least some of the time, giving them more time with families and less time commuting, and our research backs that up.
“However, it is clear that working from home permanently is not most Londoners’ idea of a good working set-up, but then neither is going back to the office full-time.”
The CEBR research found just 13% of London workers had been asked for their input and views on how they want to work.
Walker added: “It is really important that employers are open and honest with their workers about what they expect of them, but also that they are listening to their concerns and offering the help, support and flexibility they need as we move into this next stage of the Covid-19 recovery.”
The findings follow recent comments from inventor Sir James Dyson claiming that a return to office-based work would help the UK to remain competitive. The vacuum cleaner magnate has millions invested in commercial property within the capital.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released in May this year shows that most workers did not work from home in 2020. In a survey, roughly a quarter of respondents (25.9%) said they’d worked from home in the week before answering the poll. This compared to 12.4% of workers in the previous year.
According to separate ONS research, the sickness absence rate for remote workers was 0.9% on average in 2020, compared with 2.2% for office-based staff. The same research found remote workers did an average of six hours’ unpaid overtime per week in 2020, compared with office workers’ 3.6 hours.