Worker wellbeing is predicted to improve as more than half – 58 per cent – of full time workers returning to the office looking forward to it, according to new research from Canada Life.
Employees’ anticipated positive impact on their own mental health is greatest amongst those aged 18 – 34 years old, with 66 per cent of this age group expecting their mental health to improve once they have physically returned to work. The research found 66 per cent of workers are expecting to enjoy the ‘buzz of the office’ when they return, increasing to 70 per cent among women, with 67 per cent looking forward to enjoying greater access to other team members.
But despite the enthusiasm, 54 per cent of those returning to the office are nervous about physically interacting with people again, and 55 per cent are worried that their colleagues will not be taking safety precautions. This rises to 62 per cent amongst 35-54 year olds. Additionally, 51 per cent worry there will be a lack of routine Covid-19 testing when they return to the office, increasing to 57 per cent among women and 65 per cent of people living in London.
With a return to the office anticipated for mid-2021, 37 per cent of workers would like employers to implement flexi hours, 37 per cent want masks to be worn in communal spaces, 37 per cent would like to see trialing of partial and phased returns and 35 per cent want desks to be more spaced out.
Canada Life protection sales director Dan Crook says: “Many employees are looking forward to being back in the physical workplace and enjoying interaction and support from their colleagues. Employers should not take this position for granted and should strive to be ready to support employees with the transition back to the office. Establishing new office norms that provide emotional and practical support is key. However, implementing, safety measures that ensure employees are safe and cared for is of equal importance. Employers should start to plan and prepare now, whilst also enabling their teams to receive the support they need before returning to office life.”
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