Lack of consultation regarding returning to the workplace

Two-fifths of employees have not been consulted about returning to the workplace, according to a survey which asked over 1,000 UK workers about their attitudes towards the return to their ‘usual’ (pre-pandemic) workplace. It found that 39% of workers said they had not been consulted about their return to the workplace and two fifths of respondents reported that their employer had not asked for their views about how many days they would like to be in the office.

Generally, the survey respondents were positive about returning to the workplace as 24% said they felt “happy” to return; 22% said they were looking forward to it; and another 22%  said they felt “ok” about going back.

Less than a quarter of people who worked at home during the pandemic were anxious or “dreading” going back to the workplace.

Employers are being urged to consult staff about changes and check in with them – particularly about the return to ‘normal working’ and employers shoul be aware that they  may risk losing skills and experience if they are inflexible in their approach to remote working where it is possible. 

The research also looked at what a transition back to a physical workplace looks like from an employee perspective. When asked what practices have been put in place by employers to manage returning to the workplace, almost three in five said there will hand sanitisers throughout the building; nearly half said there will be enhanced cleaning; and 37% will put one-way systems or walkways in place.

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