Nearly a third of offices are reopening so employees can return to workAlmost a third of employers are now reopening their offices for their staff who cannot work remotely.

This is according to XpertHR, who found that 30 per cent of workplaces are reopening their doors to certain members of staff.

Still, nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) believe that nothing has changed following the easing of some of the lockdown restrictions.

The research found that employers are planning on reintroducing certain members of their staff team-by-team. It also found that 42 per cent of businesses using the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme hope to reduce the number of workers they currently have on furlough over the next two months.

Out of the places of work that have reopened, 81 per cent have implemented enhanced hygiene procedures and social distancing, 56 per cent have said they have put an end to hot desking, and 70 per cent are limiting the number of workplace visits.

The top three concerns professionals in HR have regarding employees returning to work are:

  • Expect employees to be unable to return due to child/family care responsibilities (72 per cent).
  • Think employees will be reluctant to return to the workplace (67 per cent).
  • Say there will be problems balancing annual leave requests with business needs, as many employees have built up a substantial backlog of holiday entitlement (47 per cent).


Mark Crail, content director, at XpertHR said:

While nothing has changed in law, the UK Government is now encouraging employers in England to get employees back into the workplace where they cannot reasonably work from home. Many organisations have now actively started to do this and are putting in place all the measures they can to keep people safe – from socially distanced offices to staggered shift times.

HR has shone throughout this crisis and continues to do so. But even as workplaces tentatively reopen, their expertise will be crucial in reassuring workers that it is safe to come to work, and helping them to deal with other problems that arise – from a shortage of childcare to a possible slump in morale as redundancies inevitably take effect.

For those who are reopening their offices,  Jamie Mackenzie, director at Sodexo Engage, advised considering how much flexible working it is possible to implement to assist employees returning to the workplace.

XpertHR conducted this survey by talking to 275 HR professionals.