Survey reveals what workers are dreading most about office return, with commute on top

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27th May 2021 14:48 - Business Support

Survey reveals what workers are dreading most about office return, with commute on top: A survey of UK adults has revealed the top most dreaded aspects of returning to work at an office, with 40% saying that the commute is their greatest concern.

The survey by Cartridge People polled 1,500 in May 2021, finding that having to get up earlier (28%), having to dress appropriately (17%) and having to talk to colleagues (12%) were also amongst the things that British workers are dreading most.

Almost one in 10 respondents said that the smell of the office/and or colleagues was something they are not looking forward to, as well as using the printer (7%).

The research comes as the UK begins to wind down Covid-19 restrictions and businesses move towards welcoming staff back to office spaces.

Commute dread higher in London

Whilst the commute was cited by two-fifths of respondents, this rose to half of all Londoners polled (50%), who may have enjoyed a break from tube travel and/or sitting in the capital’s traffic before and after their day at work. 

Looking at those who are dreading social interaction in the office, almost a quarter of workers in Wales (23%) said this was an issue for them, compared to 12% in England, 11% in Scotland, and just 3% in Northern Ireland. 

In a previous survey by Cartridge People (conducted at the end of 2020), it was found that 16% of employees only dressed suitably from the waist upwards during video calls, which may go some way to explaining why 17% of respondents are dreading having to dress up once more for the office.

John Flanagan, Managing Director of Cartridge People said: “As employers, it's important to try and understand what can be done to help those who are worried, for instance, looking at a hybrid of remote-working and office-based to try and introduce a gradual return to the office.”

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