81% of UK workers work from home - why do senior leaders want them in the office?
- 3 Min Read
As the world marks four years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional workplace in the United Kingdom has undergone a transformative journey. The pandemic’s exigency has reshaped the concept of work, giving rise to a hybrid model that blends remote and in-office activities. Toner Giant surveyed 1,000 nationally representative British workers; 81% […]
As the world marks four years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional workplace in the United Kingdom has undergone a transformative journey. The pandemic’s exigency has reshaped the concept of work, giving rise to a hybrid model that blends remote and in-office activities.
Toner Giant surveyed 1,000 nationally representative British workers; 81% now work from home at least once weekly, with two days of remote work being the most prevalent routine. Interestingly, this trend is most pronounced among Gen Z workers, with 87% embracing remote work. Despite this shift, 19% of UK workers still adhere to traditional office-based roles.
Gender perspectives and generational shifts
The inclination for remote work is more pronounced among women, with 48% considering leaving their jobs if required to return to the office full time, compared to 41% of men.
Millennials express the strongest resistance to full-time office roles, highlighting a generational shift in workplace preferences.
Productivity and trust in a remote environment
Contrary to some concerns, 59% of Brits report increased productivity when working from home. However, this sentiment isn’t uniformly shared across generations, with Gen Z reporting lower productivity levels.
Leaders, as per a Microsoft study, express apprehension about employee productivity in hybrid settings, indicating a trust gap that needs bridging.
Concerns in the air
A significant 41% of Brits fear that remote work might hinder their career advancement, with a notable gender divide in this perception. Additionally, the high cost of commuting is a deterrent for office returns, especially among millennials.
The transition to remote work has also had profound effects on mental and physical health. While 40% of Brits experience increased anxiety in in-person meetings, a majority report improvements in diet and exercise routines, contributing to a better overall quality of life.
The study also uncovers intriguing regional differences. Cardiff emerges as the UK’s work-from-home capital, while Nottingham shows a strong preference for complete remote work. Sector-wise, those in travel and transport are most inclined towards remote work, whereas IT professionals tend to work from the office more frequently.
Time to embrace a new work culture?
The post-pandemic era has irrevocably altered the British workplace landscape. As businesses and employees navigate this new reality, it becomes clear that flexible work arrangements are not just a temporary response to a global crisis, but a permanent shift in the work culture.
This evolution presents both challenges and opportunities, necessitating a re-evaluation of traditional work models to accommodate the diverse needs and preferences of the modern workforce. The future of work in UK, as the study shows, is increasingly remote, flexible, and attuned to the well-being of its workers.