Monday 21 September 2020 10:04 am

Two-thirds of companies say home working has hit employee motivation

Two-thirds of UK companies believe the motivation and enthusiasm of employees have suffered as a result of remote working during the Covid-19 crisis, according to a new survey.

A survey of more than 1,500 firms occupying offices found office working outranked home working for creativity and innovation, as well as productivity and motivation.

Read more: City of London Corporation urges firms to return to the office

Roughly 64 per cent of respondents said employee morale had suffered due to remote working, compared to just 23 per cent who said workers were more productive or had higher motivation at home.

However, the majority of firms stated that a hybrid model was the best option for their staff.

Just under 70 per cent of companies said they were planning to reduce workspace costs by allowing employees to work more flexibly.

But the survey, which was carried out by FTI Consulting on behalf of law firm CMS, found most UK firms will remain committed to their physical office space despite shifts in behaviour.

Only 27 per cent of occupiers said they would downsize as a result of the pandemic, with 40 per cent planning no change. Roughly a quarter said they would split their space into multiple locations.

Just over 60 per cent said they planned to refurbish their offices when employees return to the workplace, suggesting offices will continue to thrive in the aftermath of the crisis, albeit in a different configuration.

Read more: Around 5m workers were furloughed in July amid uneven recovery

“While companies have proven that with the help of technology it is possible to maintain business operations over a period of time, almost two thirds of occupiers say that motivation and enthusiasm of employees is suffering through remote working and the lack of human interaction,” said Ciaran Carvalho, partner and head of real estate at CMS.

“In most industries, the need to interact and collaborate with colleagues, clients and customers outweighs the benefits to be gained from remote working exclusively, such as eliminating the commute for the individual, or workspace costs for the company.”