Four-fifths of Londoners want to get back to the office

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More than four-fifths of Londoners want to get back to working from the office, the highest such proportion in the UK, City A.M. can reveal.

According to new statistics from IT provider Atlas Cloud, residents of the capital are the keenest in the country to get back to office life, above an average of 74 per cent across the whole of the country.

Read more: The return to work: Here’s when City firms are going back to the office

In part, this might be because London employers are gaining the equivalent 25 days of extra work a year from staff, as employees put in longer shifts while working from home. 

The data shows that because they do not need to commute, staff are saving an average of 96 minutes a day – 45 of which are spent plugging away at extra work. 

After nearly five months of working from home, many had suggested that the days of the office were numbered, yet the survey suggests that rumours of its demise may have been somewhat exaggerated.

Although just 13 per cent of Londoners say that they want to work exclusively from the office, less than a fifth – 19 per cent – want to switch to full home working.

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The desire to get back into workplaces stems in part from staff missing the social aspect of office life, with 24 per cent saying their mental health had suffered as a result of continuous working from home.

From the beginning of August, employers have been given “more discretion” to bring staff back to the office as long as it is safe, in a bid to get the economy moving again after the worst quarterly fall in GDP on record. 

Over the last couple of months, Square Mile companies have slowly begun to reopen their doors to staff, many of whom are embracing the rise of so-called “hybrid working”.

Atlas Cloud’s chief executive Pete Watson said: “The pandemic has transformed the way we think about the workplace, but it is by no means the death of the traditional office – it is the birth of hybrid-working.

Read more: Offices should be a ‘safe haven’ for suffering staff

“This research clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of people want to return to the office in some capacity, but more often than not this is to pursue a hybrid working model where they can work more flexibly.”

The data is based on a survey of 2,533 randomly selected respondents, consisting of UK employees over the age of 17 that had worked from home during the Coronavirus lockdown.

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