Business

Many workers expected to be back in offices this week, study suggests

A new survey shows most workers had expected to return to offices by the end of this week.

MORE than half of office workers had expected to be back at their desks from Tuesday before the latest virus wave took hold, new research suggests.

Three out of four of around 1,000 workers surveyed said they had thought they would return to offices by the end of the week.

The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) said its study indicated that the appeal of working from home all the time has worn thin for many.

IWFM added that employers had a legal duty of care to protect the health, safety and welfare of their staff working at home after its study indicated that one in five respondents reported that their health had suffered in 2021 as a result of the changed working arrangements caused by the pandemic.

One in three of those surveyed complained that their employers had failed to equip them to work effectively from home.

Linda Hausmanis, chief executive of the IWFM, said: "The first working day of 2022 is a missed opportunity for millions of office workers and for UK business. Three quarters of us will be excluded from our first choice of workplace this week.

"Of course it is right that public safety comes first, but the costs to the economy and people's health from poorly planned work spaces must not be forgotten.

"Hybrid working should offer the best of two worlds but for far too many of us it offers the worst of both.

"Younger home workers are especially at risk from isolation and a lack of safe working spaces. If hybrid is the future as most predict, employers must step up, review their workplace strategies in relation to the learnings of the last two years or risk losing their workforce to resignations and illness."

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