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UK workforce will be the last to return to the office

(Image credit: Image Credit: Gpointstudio / Shutterstock)

As the pandemic subsides, some businesses will expect their employees to return to their offices (opens in new tab). However, this transition will happen more slowly in some territories than in others, according to a new report from Xerox.

According to the report, based on a poll of 600 IT decision makers and senior C-level professionals in the UK, Germany, France, the US and Canada, employees will take anywhere between a year and eighteen months to return to the office.

Among all countries surveyed, the UK workforce will be the slowest to return, with just 18 percent planning to take up the commute again in a month's time. The country also had the largest proportion of staff working from home prior to Covid-19, at 42 percent.

Xerox believes that, once Covid-19 is behind us, some employees may still remain at home, unwilling to go back to the office.

Before the shift to remote working, a third of respondents saw network and data security, as well as privacy, as their biggest concern associated with remote working. A quarter worried about employee productivity, while roughly one in six worried about technology infrastructure.

These concerns, coupled with the widely held belief that in-person communication is pivotal for personal development and talent assessment, cause Xerox to conclude  remote work (opens in new tab) will not replace traditional workspaces in the long run.

However, businesses are now a lot more comfortable with remote work, which means the C-suite is more open to news ways of working. More than half (58 percent) plan to change their work from home policy within the next year.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.