Return to the Office

Special Insight Report

The nationally representative survey was commissioned by the IPA and carried out by Opinium among a sample of 1,000 UK adults (office-based workers) aged 18+.

Key findings:

  • Following the preference for a fully flexible approach to return to the office (89%); the next favoured approach is a structured 3:2 working model, at 75%.
  • For all adults, the least favoured would be to work full time from the office, post Covid, at 31%, although this is significantly higher for those first jobbers (68%) and for those who have been furloughed at least one (59%).
  • Things people are most looking forward to on returning to the office include: seeing colleagues face-to-face (48%), getting out of the house (41%), and easier collaboration with colleagues (34%). With 1 in 5 saying ‘feeling less lonely’.
  • A return to the commute (38%) is what most concerns people, followed by the office being COVID-secure (31%) and the financial costs involved (travel costs, lunch etc. – 29%). A quarter are anxious of feeling stressed on return.
  • 4 in 5 office workers believe their employer should offer mental wellness initiatives on returning to the office.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) expect to see dedicated spaces and infrastructure for communicating with those working remotely at their office within the next 2-3 years.