Bosses and Workers disagree on when WFH should end, new research shows

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  • Almost 4 in 10 employees (38%) are not expecting to return to the office in the foreseeable future with a further 20% only when everyone in the workforce has been vaccinated 
  • A third (31%) of business owners expect their staff to come back full time when Lockdown ends but only 16% of employees expect to begin working in the office full time with restrictions fully lifted 
  • 40% of those surveyed are expecting employers to make a return to the office voluntary while 37% expect employers to organise regular Covid testing 


UK bosses expecting a return of their staff to the office this summer are in for a shock as almost 4 in 10 employees are “not expecting to return to the office in the foreseeable future” new research released today finds. A survey of 2272 employees, conducted by Yonder on behalf of Cignpost Express Test, found that only 16% of staff expect a full return to the office when lockdown ends on June 21st and 40% of those surveyed expect employers to make a return to the office voluntary. 


The growing disparity between employers and employees attitudes is becoming increasingly apparent with over half (51%) of employers expect those vaccinated to return to the office and 48% of companies are planning to organise regular testing in the coming months.  

Key findings include: 


  • Almost a third (31%) of U.K businesses surveyed expect their staff to come back full time.  
  • 40% of employees surveyed are expecting bosses to make a return to the office voluntary while 37% expect employers to organise regular Covid testing.
  • Young people expect the return to be voluntary (45% of 18-24 year olds compared to a third (34%) of 55-64 year olds.
  • Half of those questioned (48%) expect their employer to organise a Covid test before they return to the office. 67% of 18-24 year olds think this compared to 38% of 55-64 year olds.
  • Regionally 58% of Welsh workers and 56% of London workers expect a test vs 32% of those in the South West and 39% in the North East.
  • Overall 63% of businesses are expecting to conduct such a Covid test to ensure staff can return safely to the office. 

The research was commissioned by leading COVID testing company Cignpost ExpressTest to understand the preparedness of UK businesses in planning a return to the office.   

Nick Markham, co-founder of Cignpost Express Test, said: “This research clearly shows that there is a growing disparity between the attitudes of employees and their bosses as to how to get back to work and into the office safely. The pandemic has taught most of us how to work from home but there is a thirst from government and business to get back and ensure British workforces are back together again to share ideas, innovate and get back down to business. Testing is one way to ensure that both employers and employees can safely get back into the office and bring an end to working from home full time.” 

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