Rishi Sunak: Will people really quit if forced to work from home?

Rishi in Treasury

Rishi Sunak’s comments urging businesses to encourage workers to get back into the office or risk losing them may ring true with some, but certainly not with the majority.

Anthony Lamoureux, CEO at Velocity Smart Technology said that he has researched the issue in December 2020 using an independent research house and results showed an overwhelming majority of UK office workers agreed that remote working is here to stay.

People aren’t getting tired of working from home – they’re tired of lockdown measures and effectively being a prisoner in their own homes.

Instead of worrying about the opinions of office space owners, business leaders would be better placed to focus on employee wellbeing and long-term mental health issues. Lockdown measures should prompt business leaders to switch their attention from key business outcomes to employee motivation.

Indeed, our research showed that almost half of UK office workers cited a lack of personal motivation while working from home during the pandemic.

Yes, there’ll always be a need for an office as we crave face-to-face interactions, but if the Chancellor is pushing us to return to the office, have proper safety measures been implemented to protect employees?

Catching Covid-19 from their department was the top concern of UK employees returning to the office, narrowly ahead of the worry about catching Covid from shared office equipment.

And almost two thirds would advocate for at least two metres between their desk and a colleague’s desk.

So no, I don’t believe we’ll see people quitting if ‘forced’ to work from home. As vaccinations rates improve and restrictions ease, employees will be able to pick and choose what their working week looks like.

In fact, we may actually see people quit if they’re forced to work in an office again!