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Better incentives could be the key to getting workers back into the office

Team working on computers in an office
(Image credit: Arlington Research on Unsplash)

A new YouGov survey has revealed that 68 percent of British office workers would consider working in the office full-time again, but only if their commute was paid for.

However, 27 percent wouldn't consider the idea at all, even if their employer picked up commuting costs.

Workers aged 35-44 were most likely to be tempted back into the office by the offer of a fully paid-for commute, with 72 percent giving it a potential thumbs-up. 

Those least likely to be tempted back to the office with subsidised travel were the 55+ age group, with 67 percent likely to decline the offer.

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Return to office working

The survey, carried out by Emburse for YouGov questioned 1,000 British employees, 724 of which worked in an office. Other key findings from the poll revealed that a four-day week was also likely to lure workers back to the office, with 59 percent keen to work the same number of hours but over four days.

Unsurprisingly, more paid holidays struck a chord with 52 percent of those surveyed, as did employer paid lunches (30 percent) and paid childcare (14 percent).

Kenny Eon, GM and SVP EMEA at Emburse, commented: “The impacts of COVID and the Great Resignation mean that companies need to be more employee-centric in their approach, and humanising the workplace has never been more important. 

Part of this means ensuring team members get the best possible work environment.  Whilst working remotely is certainly convenient for employees, there are clear benefits of having in-person interactions, as well as the cultural importance of bringing teams together. 

Data clearly shows (opens in new tab) that they are more productive than audio or video meetings, so there needs to be a balance between convenience and productivity. A relatively small investment from employers could have a significant impact in driving more in-office collaboration."

He added: “Given the sharp increase in the cost of living, businesses should consider how they can support staff by reducing the financial burden of attending the office in-person. Reimbursing travel and lunches can certainly help do this. It also doesn’t have to mean endless time on paperwork, as expense apps can make the process easy for both the employee and the finance team.”

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Rob Clymo
Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.