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Nearly a third of UK workers would return to office for cash incentives

Just 7% of UK office workers have said they would be willing to return to the office full time post-coronavirus, demonstrating a shift in attitudes towards presenteeism.

Yet employees said cash incentives could persuade more to come back.

According to a new YouGov survey on behalf of workspace analytics provider Locatee, almost one third (31%) of workers would be willing to accept an extra £10 or less per day to return to the workplace, and 37% said they would accept between £20 and £30 per day.

Increased holiday allowance would also be a motivator for 38% of respondents, and almost a quarter (23%) said they would be incentivised by more desk space.

However, 25% of workers still prefer their remote work setup and said that nothing could incentivise them to come into the office more frequently.

Thomas Kessler, CEO and co-founder at Locatee, said that although the research shows a clear appetite for office workers to retain remote working lifestyles when pandemic restrictions lift, there are issues of reduced productivity to be considered.

Effective team management and training has reportedly taken a hit as only 13% of respondents said they feel they manage or train teams as effectively when working remotely, and just 57% of workers feel their work standard is equal to or higher than it was when based in an office.

Creativity is also suffering, as only 26% of those responding to the survey said they were able to execute creative processes as effectively when remote.

Kessler said: “Requirements for UK office space will undergo a significant shift over the next year, with fewer workers needing a full-time desk. This creates an opportunity for companies to take a data-driven approach to workspace planning and create an optimal office environment which both serves employees’ needs and saves on unnecessary real-estate costs.

“Companies which optimise their workplace early-on stand to save significant amounts, and effective planning should therefore be a key priority.”

The YouGov survey was undertaken between 22 and 25 October 2020, using a sample size of 4,373 people. Figures have been weighted to be representative of all UK adults.