Almost two-thirds of employees are now commuting again, which will be welcome news to some employees, who found six months of remote working to be a challenging time.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 62 per cent of working adults commuted to work last week. This is almost double the level recorded in May which was 36 per cent. This will come to good news for some as not everyone has enjoyed working from home.
The ONS stated that a very small amount of these workers who are now commuting are those who can fully work from home. Whereas the number of people commuting has increased, the amount of those who are still remote working is at a similar level.
According to Ascenti, a physiotherapy group report ‘Are Home-Workers Sitting Comfortably’ found that 49 per cent of remote workers are experiencing back, neck, shoulder and hand pain due to working from home. The report found that the main reasons leading to worker’s physical pain are being forced to use sofas, beds and bean bags instead of desks. Also, less movement is involved whilst working at home, as there are no colleagues to speak to.
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) back in August urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to “do more to build confidence” to get people back in to their offices.
Dame Fairbairn explained “there is also the question of fairness” when it comes to remote working as not everyone has the capability to work at home and this may lead to “new divisions in our society”.
In addition, the head of the CBI explained due to the lack of workers in offices, UK city centres have become “ghost towns” and she urged the Government and employers to encourage staff back to their workplace.
The BBC interviewed Tara Hudson, a council worker in August who said that working from home was leaving her in “absolute agony” due to back pains.
Ms Hudson said:
There will be a whole generation of people who are working on their bed who will have spinal problems because of coronavirus.