Monday 14 June 2021 4:05 pm

Worth the commute: 9 out of 10 want hybrid working paired with an improved office

Nine out of ten UK workers want the option to work remotely once offices reopen, while the same proportion desire a better office set-up when they do go in, new research today suggests.

Data from OpenSensors, a workplace technology company, shows that a similar proportion of workers (90.5 per cent) are being offered the option to pursue remote working post-Covid-19 – but they aren’t doing away with the office altogether.

Far from spelling the death of the office, the survey of 1,076 workers also found that one in two (47 per cent) companies expect to expand their office space and real estate portfolios post-pandemic.

With demand for hybrid working strong among employees, 90 per cent of offices are changing layouts and improving in response to shifting expectations prompted by the pandemic.

The most desirable post-Covid office enhancements unsurprisingly focused on air quality, with one in two employees saying the addition of air quality monitors and filters would have the greatest impact on their desire to return to the office.

Increased collaboration space and more bookable desk space were also popular office improvements.

EY has become one of the latest major employers to eschew traditional office life by saying its 17,000 staff must work from home at least part of the time. Tech companies have also been quick to embrace changing working patterns, with both Google and Apple similarly suggesting staff move to a three days in the office, two days at home working pattern for good.

“Companies need to figure out how to use their real estate better,” said Yodit Stanton, CEO and founder of OpenSensors.

“The demand for flexible working too often overlooks that many employees want to return, at least in part to the office but, crucially, they expect to see changes in the environment of office life,” she added. “What’s clear is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for the optimal workplace setup.”