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Don’t Use The End Of Lockdown To Force Workers Back Into The Office, AWA Warns Employers

Only 2% of employees in the financial sector want to go back to five days a week in the office. 

Employers will be making a potentially fatal mistake if they use the end of Covid-19 restrictions to force staff across the financial space back into the office every day, management consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) is warning.

“That last two years have shown us that properly managed hybrid working is beneficial to both employers and employees,” says Andrew Mawson, managing director of AWA. “Research among organisations we advise globally has shown only 2% of workers in the financial sector want to go back to the office five days a week, with the overwhelming majority wanting to work from home at least two days. Talented people will choose the employers that give them flexibility and – as we’ve seen with the so called ‘Great Resignation’ – employees will quit jobs if their bosses force them back into the office all the time.

“Employers have to realise that the genie is out of the bottle. Workers have seen that flexibility can work and bosses who are not sensitive to their employees’ needs will suffer accordingly.”

Data obtained by AWA through workplace surveys of nearly 600 financial employees during lockdown found that, before Covid-19, 69% of staff were happy to work five days a week in the office, but that has now dropped to just 2%, and 94% of financial workers now want work from home at least two days a week.

AWA has also found that staff prefer to go into the office in major cities on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, raising the prospect of offices being packed midweek and empty on the “shoulder” days of Monday and Friday. Unless work patterns are effectively management by employers, AWA has warned that inefficient use of offices would be expensive and bad for the environment.

About Advanced Workplace Associates:

Founded in 1992, AWA is a multi-disciplined and independent management consultancy that helps organisations make a step change in the performance of their people and workplaces.

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