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Only 15% of UK workers want to return back to the office full-time. How can you improve remote employee engagement?

Posted by Darren Pepper on 17/08/2021


Whilst some businesses including Savant have returned to the office already, many businesses have set a 1st September return date for their staff. However, many employees aren’t willing to return back so easily.

A survey of 1,022 UK workers, carried out by leading HR software provider CIPHR, has revealed that nearly three quarters (73%) of UK workers would accept a reduction in pay in return for being able to work remotely permanently.

In addition, only 15% of UK workers who have been working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic want to return to the workplace full-time. 

72% of people would like to split their time between the workplace and working from home, with 11% wanting to work remotely full-time. 

Of workers who are expecting to continue working remotely on a full-time basis, 43% would prefer to be able to return to the workplace either some or all of the time. 

UK bosses have a lot of work to do to reassure and safeguard the welfare of their employees if they want them to return to the workplace. 75% of workers said that they are somewhat or very concerned for their welfare with regards to Covid-19 if they are required to return to the workplace in some capacity.

The most popular measures respondents would like their employer to implement to protect them from Covid-19 if they return to the workplace were to add hand sanitisers throughout the building (58%), increase the frequency of the workplace being cleaned (48%) and limiting the number of people allowed into the building each day (47%). 

The least popular measures were requiring employees to provide evidence of being vaccinated (24%), creating one-way systems throughout the workplace (32%) and requiring employees to have their temperature checked before entering the workplace (34%). 

It’s clear many employees are nervous about entering the workplace during the pandemic, with 40% of respondents believing that employers should be able to prevent employees from travelling abroad for holiday due to Covid-19.


How can you improve employee engagement when your staff are working remotely?:

  1. Define clear goals - Set deadlines for staff for specific projects so that they know what they are working towards.
  2. Trust and Flexibility - Give your staff a chance to show you they can be trusted when working from home and aren’t off gallivanting in the park or procrastinating
  3. Invest in your staff - give staff an allowance to buy a chair, desk etc so that they are able to work from home and they know you support their decision. Buy suitable meeting software so staff can keep in touch easily.
  4. Don’t be overbearing - no staff member wants to feel like they are being watched constantly, phone calls asking for updates every hour will be a distraction and unmotivating.
  5. Understanding the physical and mental benefits can come from a hybrid model - Working from home was once a novelty but is now the norm and can actually improve physical and mental wellbeing, search online the benefits aren’t hard to find.

Here at Savant we are able to provide your business with HR Consultancy as well as talented Finance and Technology staff. Whether your business is asking employees to go back to the office full time, on a hybrid model or not at all we can assist with your business growth. We can offer staffing solutions on both a contractual and permanent basis. For more information about the services we can offer, visit:


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