Fewer than one in two of small business owners plan to advise their staff to return to the office after 21 June, when government restrictions on home working will be lifted, according to new survey results.
Financial services company Hitachi Capital Business Finance polled over a thousand UK-based small business owners to find out how they plan the return to the office for their employees.
The results showed that 16 per cent plan to continue working remotely even after restrictions ease and almost a quarter said they will use a hybrid set up, rather than a full return to the office. Almost a third said they are now set up to work remotely for good.
Having a better work-life-balance was cited by almost 60 per cent of small businesses planning to work in a hybrid set up by the end of the year, as a key reason for avoiding a full return to the office.
Another contributing factor included the continued risk of catching the coronavirus infection. Of those already back in the office, 60 per cent felt safe.
Home working, on the other hand, was considered to be the safest working environment, in terms of Covid-19 controls, by 48 per cent with hybrid working following. Only 32 per cent saw the office as the safest.
Small businesses in Wales, the West Midlands and North East were, according to the survey results, most likely to predict staff returning to the workplace by 2022 – while the figure for London was amongst the lowest.