Tuesday 25 August 2020 12:38 pm

Brits more hesitant to return to the office than European neighbours

UK workers are more reluctant to return to the office than people from other large economies, according to a new survey.

The analysis, completed by US staffing firm ManpowerGroup, showed that 73 per cent of UK workers showed a “negative sentiment” about returning to work.

Read more: Downing Street refuses to call for Londoners to go back to work

This compares to 59 per cent in France, 66 per cent in Spain, 56 per cent in Italy and 54 per cent in Italy.

Figures from the US showed 73 per cent of people also did not want to go back to work.

It comes as Downing Street yesterday said it was individual employers’ choice whether to bring people back, refusing to take a strong stance on getting people back into the office.

Business secretary Alok Sharma also said today that businesses needed to show “flexibility” when deciding to bring people back into the workplace.

He told the BBC: “The advice that we issued has changed, so up until relatively recently we’ve said you should work from home if you are able to; what we’ve now said is that you should talk to your employer about coming back into the workplace.”

A study from investment bank Morgan Stanley showed that the UK’s workers are returning to the office more slowly than other western European countries.

The report found that just one-in-three Britons had returned to the workplace, while the number was closer to three-in-four in countries like Germany, Spain and France.

Read more: Number of UK workers on furlough falls to 6.8m

The slow return of workers to the office has caused concern among some business leaders about the future state of the economy.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has also called for a return to work, saying recently that empty offices were “a big problem” for the economy as bricks and mortar businesses struggle from decreased footfall.

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