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Working From Home still a major factor for UK housing

Agents whose rental properties became workplaces during the pandemic are unlikely to see any major change in the situation soon.

That’s because a new report shows workers in the UK less time in the office than any other country in a 17-nation study - and they want to reduce the number of those days further. 

A report by construction company Unispace – which combined the results of an in-depth survey of 9,500 employees and 6,650 business leaders from 17 countries worldwide – found that just 34 per cent of employees in the UK are in the office four or more days a week, less time than workers in any other country.


Despite these comparatively low attendance levels, employees want to reduce the number of days spent in the workplace even further, with just 21 per cent of workers in the UK currently happy to spend four or more days per week in the office.

Hot-desking is prominent in the UK, with 56 per cent of employees indicating their office is set up to work in this way, above the global average of 48 per cent. Of those who do hot-desk, 76 per cent would be more inclined to head into the office on a regular basis if they had an assigned desk.

The data did highlight hat Unispace calls “a misalignment between employers and employees”. Only 53 per cent of UK workers expect to eventually be in the office at least four days a week, but employers are more likely to perceive that a return is on the cards, with 74 per cent expecting this to happen in the near future.

While 75 per cent of employers highlighted that career progression including pay rises, promotions and bonuses will be negatively impacted for hybrid workers, employees are less aware of this risk, with only 59 per cent stating that they believe this to be the case.

Workers in the UK also recorded the lowest level of company loyalty (68 per cent versus the global average of 77 per cent), though this was also underestimated by employers, with 74 per cent believing their employees were devoted to their organisation.

Lawrence Mohiuddine, Unispace chief executive, comments: “Results from the UK highlight that employees are now in the driver’s seat and are better able to make demands of their employers more than ever before over where and how they choose to work. 

“However, there is a clear lack of communication between employees and businesses, with views around future office returns and the impact of hybrid working on career progression differing between the two groups. Businesses need to find a way to strike the right balance to encourage people to form new habits and head into the office but, equally, employees need to be given a compelling reason to do so.

“With 58 per cent of workers across the country still reluctant to return to the office, even if it impacts their career prospects, businesses will only continue to face recruitment and retention issues if they do not address the underlying challenges around workplace returns. This includes listening to what employees want in the UK, including creating more private spaces, mimicking the benefits of home working environments, whilst still gaining from the benefits of collaborative and social workspaces.”


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