By Megan Henderson, EMEA Office Manager/Executive Assistant at Lucid

The focus for most companies during lockdown was around how to keep staff productive and feeling engaged while working from home, but many companies including Lucid are now moving to the next phase - planning a safe return to the workplace. In May we sent out the first of a series of monthly surveys to our global workforce to gauge attitudes to returning to the workplace and the response was clear: employees do not yet feel comfortable returning to the workplace.

The figures were surprisingly low, globally just 12% of employees said they would feel comfortable returning to workplaces once the government lifted restrictions and encouraged returning to the office. We sent out a second similar survey end of July once lockdown measures in England were lifted and the responses were identical to the previous survey. Interestingly the findings also showed that 97% of employees said they were more or equally productive while working from home, which is particularly significant given the unique challenges many of our workers are facing with handling childcare and home-schooling.

Yet employees’ desire to continue to work remotely does not necessarily spell the end of the office. From a survey we conducted at the end of August for our London based employees we learnt that that people do still value the need for an office as it is one of their important communities. Although workers wish to continue working from home right now, they see a split between the office and home to be the “new normal.” Most stated their preference to be 3-4 days at home per week, with a very small proportion wishing to be completely remote.

What is clear is that covid-19 has changed the role of the office and blurred the lines between remote and office working. The new role of the office is to provide a meeting space for teams and colleagues to come together to collaborate, bond and keep the company culture alive.

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