YouGov poll of 1,000 British private sector employees sheds a new light on how the majority of office workers currently view working life. A YouGov poll by bathroom designer and manufacturer Geberit has found very little resistance from the UK workforce when faced with the prospect of a return to the office – with a nation missing colleagues and face-to-face meetings.
Research by Geberit into the views of office workers on their current working life has revealed that we are a nation of workers experiencing Zoom fatigue, missing colleagues, communication, collaboration – and even the commute. More than three quarters (76%) of employees polled indicated that they would be willing to return to the office for either some or all of their working hours if correct safety measures were put in place by firms.
The study also found that socialising with colleagues was the most missed aspect of office life (51%), followed by ease of communication with colleagues (46%). There are clear signs, too, that Zoom fatigue is well and truly setting in, with a third of respondents missing in-person meetings. In the quest for seeking work-life balance, 42% of respondents reported that they did, in fact, miss the ability to better achieve this from the office. The survey also found that 8% of staff missed the commute.
However, UK workers do have some concerns around a return to the office, particularly around hygiene. Geberit’s study found that the staff communal toilet or washroom areas were the biggest area of concern when returning to the office with almost half (47%) having reservations about surfaces and touchpoints in the space, with 37% worried about standards of washroom hygiene. Ventilation (45%) and kitchen surfaces (39%) were also high on the list.
Mark Larden, managing director of Geberit, said: “How many of us working in the office experienced some initial euphoria or even relief at the prospect of spending more time at home and less on the commute? For many, the prospect of remote working promised a shift towards a better work-life balance but this research shows that the office still has an enormous role to play in our working lives.
“This survey shows there is a real willingness to return to work but this is, of course, based on firms having in place the correct safety measures in place. Hygiene is a huge concern and the washroom area is a natural area of focus for this as our survey clearly demonstrates. Innovations out there such as infra-red and touchless technology will play a huge role in future office design, but firms should also consider designs and products that reinforce the perception of a clean space as well as a reassuring environment for employees ready for the return to the office.”