A survey of business decision makers has found that just 2% of people want to return to the old status quo of working from the office full-time – with workers preferring to split their time between the home and the office from now on.

In the survey business decision-makers involved in employee experience – including Facilities/CRE, HR and IT – revealed sentiments about returning to work amidst the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

With many people working remotely for the first time, the global debate has raged among employees about whether there is still a need for physical office space.

The survey found that the vast majority of employees enjoy the flexibility of working between their home and the office, with only 2% of people saying they want to work in the office all of the time from now on:

When asked whether the pandemic was likely to accelerate their company’s shift towards new ways of working, 78% said they agreed with the statement:

40% of those surveyed felt that sociability was the main factor which working from home could not provide, with 37% believing that spontaneous collaboration with colleagues was the biggest difference.

The survey also found that respondents were primarily concerned about the health risks of returning to the office, but also had major concerns about travelling to their workplace. More than a third of those surveyed categorized ‘travelling to the office’ as the biggest concern of returning to work.

Interestingly, 29% of respondents said they had already returned to work despite the restrictions and social distancing which have been put in place by most governments.

46% of people said their companies had plans to return to the office within 6 months, while only 2% of those quizzed said they didn’t expect to be back in the office within two years.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Smartway2 CEO John T. Anderson said: “These findings indicate a readiness for change in the way we work. With so many people saying they’d prefer to work remotely most of the time, with regular time in the office, organizations are now facing new challenges around enabling greater autonomy.”

“This means redefining the idea of the work place and redesigning the employee experience so that we emerge from this pandemic with better ways of working than ever before.”

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