Employees do not want to be encouraged back in to the office

Despite the Government and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) calling for employees to return to the office, most workers do not believe staff should be encouraged back in to the workplace.

This is according to a YouGov survey, which found that 41 per cent do not think the Government and various bodies should tell them they should return to their workplace. In contrast to 31 per cent hold the opinion that businesses should ask their employees to return to the office.

Over a fifth (22 per cent) said they were unsure.

Over half (54 per cent) of 18 to 24-year-olds and 52 per cent of 25 to 49-year-olds said workers should not be prompted to return to their workplaces.

The only age group that believed they should be encouraged back in to the office were the over-65s with 44 per cent saying this and 35 per cent disagreeing.

Next week, a government campaign will start that encourage employees to go back to their workplaces.

The campaign will be mostly promoted through regional media, but government sources have insisted that it will not suggest those who do work from home through the COVID-19 pandemic are at risk of losing their jobs. It will ask employers, to assure their staff it is safe to return to the office as COVID-19 safety measures have been implemented.

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary said that some parts of a job are “impossible” to do remotely.

Mr Shapps said:

I suspect we’ll see more flexible working than we’ve seen in the past and it will be for employers and employees to work out the right balance in their particular cases.

The Transport Secretary added that employees can raise issues they have with their workplace not being “COVID-secure” with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), but he feels most companies have worked hard to make their workplace COVID-19 safe to deal with this new threat.

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said that city centres are becoming “ghost towns” and that the Government needs to encourage workers back to the office.

Dame Fairbairn also said that “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”.  People like “barbers and brewers” cannot work from home, this being similar to what Mr Shapps said.

In her Daily Mail article, she stated that children returning to school are just as important as filling offices with employees again as this is a “vital driver” of the economy.

YouGov spoke to 2,592 UK employees to gather these results.