According to research conducted and released by the health and life insurer Vitality, in partnership with the RSA, only 16% of UK workers want to work from office full-time.
However, every third employee is anticipating that their company will expect them to go back. Are we on the way to creating a new, healthy, hybrid model of working?
Now is the time for businesses to reset their approach to health and wellbeing and prepare for a hybrid future that places a premium on the good health of allNeville Koopowitz, CEO, Vitality UK
The report suggests that majority of UK workers (46%) prefer the hybrid model (2 to 3 days at the office), and 36% want to stay at home permanently, leaving only 16% who want to go back to the office on a daily basis.
The question, that businesses will have to answer, is how to adapt to this new demand for different?
Key findings from the report include:
- More than 8 in 10 would prefer to work at home for either part of the week or in full (just under half 48 percent hybrid; 36 percent at home permanently).
- The same number again say they are looking for a better work life balance (80 percent), whilst 7 in 10 want work to allow for a fit and healthy lifestyle (71 percent).
- There is a hybrid working expectation gap: only 16% of homeworkers would prefer to be in a physical work location full time, yet one in three anticipate this will be their employer’s expectation when lockdown rules allow
The expectations and the results have changed too – the productivity during the pandemic lockdown has increased, but it is still uncertain whether it’s sustainable as hours spent working have increased. The hours were mostly “borrowed” from the time usually spent on commuting (3 extra hours per week) and it wouldnt be realistic from business to expect that trend to be sustainable.
On the other hand, working from home has brought other issues when it comes to health and well being of the workers with the introduction of more-than-ever sedentary lifestyle coupled with the reduction of physical activities.
The report has urged for UK businesses to incorporate well being & health initiative into their company risk registers and to be prioritized at the board level.