Office Working Becomes More Appealing Amidst Rising Energy Costs
Working from the office is looking more and more tempting to over four in five UK workers amidst rising energy bills, according to new research.
The study, conducted by online printing specialists, instantprint, involved interviewing 1,000 UK employees in the hopes of exploring how staff will be planning on working this winter.
Nearly half (45%) of hybrid workers were found to be more likely to make the commute into the office to alleviate the impact of high energy bills, with 15% claiming that they’ll choose to work from the office the whole of winter.
The influx of workers may pose a problem for employers. When asked whether workers’ office spaces, 15% admitted their office wasn’t able to provide capacity for the full team.
Why workers find the office more appealing this winter
The survey aimed to uncover the reasons behind why office workers are more inclined to work from the office this winter.
|Reason for going to the office this winter||% of workers who see this as a perk|
|Better work-life balance||46%|
|Temperature control (e.g. heating)||36%|
|Easier to concentrate||33%|
|Gets me out of the house||24%|
|More training/progression opportunities||6%|
Although free hot drink facilities and temperature control scored highly (39% and 36% respectively), the top perks for employees working from the office were better collaboration opportunities and work-life balance, both securing 46% of the vote.
Only 6% believe working from the office will present them with more training and progression opportunities, and just 17% see spending time with their co-workers as a perk.
The survey also found that nearly one in four (24%) of UK workers feel like their employers could be supporting them more during the cost-of-living crisis, and 73% believe that employers in general should be doing more to support their workers with their rising energy bills.
4% of respondents admitted that they aren’t being supported at all. This translates to over 1.3 million employees in the UK.
Top ways to support employees during the cost-of-living crisis
|Method for supporting employees||% of employees who want this kind of support|
|Pay rises or bonuses||45%|
|Educate employees on any tax relief that’s available to them||44%|
|Encourage/incentivise the use of public transport||39%|
|Provide free hot drinks||37%|
|Provide free hot meals||23%|
|Offer finance and budgeting training||22%|
At 45%, pay rises and bonuses to help with the cost-of-living are perhaps unsurprisingly at the top of the list.
Following closely behind, 44% of respondents want more education on tax relief that’s available.
As well as incentives for public transport (39%) and car-sharing (33%), 37% would appreciate their firm providing free hot drinks to keep them warm this winter.
Alternatively, three respondents shared that they believed it’s not the employer’s responsibility to support employees at all during the cost-of-living crisis.
Despite men and women stating they are both as likely to come into the office more this winter (58% and 59% respectively), men are more inclined to find this an appealing option (86% vs 83%).
41% of men appreciate the free hot drinks available in the office compared with 36% of women. However, 39% women cited the office heating as a key benefit vs 32% of men. Women were also seen to be more likely to use working from the office as an excuse to get out of the house than men (27% vs 21%).
Perhaps shockingly, men feel more supported by their employer than women ahead of soaring energy prices (73% vs 65%).
When asked what support hybrid workers want their employers to provide, more women want a pay rise than men (48% vs 43%), whereas men are more likely to want finance and budgeting training (25% vs 20%) and education on tax relief (46% vs 42%).
Laura Mucklow, Head of instantprint, commented on the findings:
“With the demand for office space set to surpass maximum capacity for many businesses, it’s important to prepare your space and processes early for remote and hybrid workers coming into the office.
“If your office space doesn’t have the capacity for a full team, you’ll need to find a way to manage the space fairly, for example by introducing a seat booking policy. From tidying up the office to modifying it with wall mountable storage, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to work from the office as and when they need to this winter.”