We’re not going back – millions now see their home as the new office

Further evidence that many of us will be reluctant to return to the office once Lockdown ends has come in a series of new surveys that suggest working from home may well become the so-called new normal in future.

With more than 60 per cent of the UK adult population having been working from home for the past few months, the digital marketing platform Adzooma surveyed 447 workers and interviewed dozens of businesses about their current plans and opinions.

The data identified that 93.3 per cent of people are able to perform their job as normal, from the comfort of their own home. It came as s similar survey by a company planning to find desks local to those who want an office environment but don’t want to return to commuting revealed a striking change of attitude towards their workplace.

Over half  told Adzooma researchers they would like to work from home if they had the choice. What’s more, 52.6 per cent said they don’t want to return to a normal office.

For most, working at home is an enjoyable experience, with 83.5 per cent admitting that they enjoy working at home, even during a global pandemic.

When asked why, 39.9 per cent cited flexibility, whilst 37.6 per cent said the lack of commuting, followed by 13.4 per cent admitting they liked having the space to concentrate.

Other responses included not having to keep up a ‘work persona’, wearing comfortable clothes, fewer interruptions and having “a workspace that is perfectly set up for my needs”.

Many said they are more productive when working at home, potentially due to fewer distractions. But more than six in ten admitted that they miss aspects of working in an office, such as socialising and holding face-to-face meetings.

One of the most popular responses was a call to continue working from home for the majority of the week, coming into the office for two days to meet others, socialise and brainstorm new ideas.

The general response from most tech companies seems to be ‘wait and see’. Twitter on the other hand, took a different approach by  announcing that employees will never have to go back to the office if they don’t want to.

The survey also took into account how staying at home may affect people’s mental health. Psychotherapist Paul Ansorge from The Reach Approach, said: “There are a number of obvious benefits – not having the stress of a commute, being able to have more relaxing sleep as there is less time pressure, and not having the stress of being observed all day and feel like you have to put on a show, especially if you’re struggling.

“However, the lack of social contact would be the key negative – as well as a kind of  ‘four-walls’ syndrome of a lack of variety of environment.

“If you do work from home, compensating for both these things with your non-work time is pretty crucial!”

The full report is available here.