Monday 12 April 2021 9:42 am

Almost half of UK office workers ‘scared to return’ to workplace, research shows

Around 40 per cent of UK office workers are worried about catching Covid from their colleagues by returning to the workplace, a new report has found.

Over a third of workers also said they were fearful of contracting the virus through contaminated equipment such as computers and keyboards.

The Supporting Your Remote Workforce in 2021 and Beyond report showed employees have major concerns about returning to the office without adequate measures to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Two thirds would advocate for social distancing measures of two metres between desks, while more than half would welcome mandatory mask wearing in the office.

New era for working

Anthony Lamoureux, CEO of the report’s commissioner Velocity Smart Technology, said that remote working has become an essential part of our working patterns.

“Practically overnight, the well-established businesses no longer had the luxury of toying with the idea of remote working as something they ‘could’ offer in a far-off future – they either had to adapt to a remote workforce or close shop altogether.

“Business leaders and IT directors now need to understand exactly what the pandemic taught us about remote working.”

Flexible working ‘here to stay’

Around 83 per cent of office workers agree that flexible working is here to stay, showing that there is little doubt that the office has changed forever.

Research from Gartner suggests almost 75 per cent of businesses plan to permanently shift employees to remote working after the pandemic ends.

“In a nutshell, remote working is here to stay and for a company to thrive in this new paradigm it needs to evolve the support provided to remote employees and ensure they’re equipped to give their all,” Lamoureux added.