Working from home has suddenly lost its appeal for UK workers, with the prospect of rocketing energy bills likely to drive staff back to the office, but this could prove problematic for some firms.
The study, conducted by online print specialist instantprint, quizzed more than 1,000 Brits to explore how they will be planning on working this winter.
Overall, it found that over four in five UK workers wanted to go back to the office, while even hybrid workers (45%) were keen to make the commute into the office to alleviate the impact of high energy bills; 15% even claimed that they will choose to work from the office full-time for the whole of winter.
However, this influx of workers may pose a problem for employers, with 15% of firms admitting their office was no longer to provide capacity for the full team.
Although free hot drink facilities and temperature control scored highly (39% and 36% respectively), the top perks for employees working from the office were better collaboration opportunities and work-life balance, both securing 46% of the vote.
Only 6% believe working from the office will present them with more training and progression opportunities, and just 17% see spending time with their co-workers as a perk.
The survey also found that nearly one in four (24%) of UK workers feel like their employers could be supporting them more during the cost-of-living crisis, and 73% believe that employers in general should be doing more to support their workers with their rising energy bills.
When it comes to support from employers, 45% of workers want pay rises and bonuses to help with the cost of living but a similar proportion (44%) want more education on tax relief that is available.
As well as incentives for public transport (39%) and car-sharing (33%), 37% would appreciate their firm providing free hot drinks to keep them warm this winter.
Despite men and women stating they are both as likely to come into the office more this winter (58% and 59% respectively), women were seen to be more likely to use working from the office as an excuse to get out of the house than men (27% vs 21%).
When asked what support hybrid workers want their employers to provide, more women want a pay rise than men (48% vs 43%), whereas men are more likely to want finance and budgeting training (25% vs 20%) and education on tax relief (46% vs 42%).
instantprint head Laura Mucklow said: “With the demand for office space set to surpass maximum capacity for many businesses, it’s important to prepare your space and processes early for remote and hybrid workers coming into the office.
“If your office space doesn’t have the capacity for a full team, you’ll need to find a way to manage the space fairly, for example by introducing a seat booking policy. From tidying up the office to modifying it with wall mountable storage, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to work from the office as and when they need to this winter.”
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