Full time office working will become the norm again, say experts

·2-min read
Photo credit: Nora Carol Photography - Getty Images
Photo credit: Nora Carol Photography - Getty Images

If you're one of the people who's been working from home for the last 15 months, and you've grown somewhat attached to your home study (er, or kitchen table, as is the case for most of us) then today's news might not be what you want to hear. According to the think tank Centre for Cities, a five-day working week in the office could very well resume as the norm within two years.

As it stands, the government recommendation is still for all people who can work at home to do so, however that is expected to change if the government ends all social distancing restrictions on 21 June as it has previously set out.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5, the think tank's director of policy and research, Paul Swinney, said he expects a hybrid of working between the office and home to become popular in the near future, but not necessarily long term.

"I expect we will see three or four days a week in the office as the UK recovers," Swinney said today. "Over the longer term, I'm quite hopeful that we will see people return five days a week."

Photo credit: Geber86 - Getty Images
Photo credit: Geber86 - Getty Images

The expert cited his reasons as being the benefit that can come with having social interactions in the office, which can help with idea brainstorming and the sharing of information. "If you're in the office on a Monday but someone else is in the office on a Wednesday, then you're starting to miss out," he said.

Money comparison site Finder conducted research in March 2021 that revealed 26% of Brits plan to continue to work from home permanently or occasionally after we re-enter a completely non-lockdown world. And that doesn't sound like a whole lot. Two thirds of employees said they felt more productive when working from home, but on the flip side one in five remote workers said they struggled with loneliness, which would be one major positive about returning to the office.

But if, like me, you're a fan of the morning workouts, the cash saved on transport, and the time regained from ditching the commute, don't panic just yet. An Institute of Directors survey of 583 business leaders in March this year found that 63% intended to include one to four days of remote working per week going forward.

So... time will tell?

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