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Workers call for compulsory return to the office to be outlawed

remote working
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/bikeriderlondon)

After getting a taste for working from home, many people are unwilling to go back to inflexible and office-first ways of working.

Identity firm Okta recently polled more than 10,000 office workers, including over 2,000 in the UK, regarding remote working and the potential return to the office. A significant majority (79 percent) said they would support legislation that makes it illegal to force people to work from the office.

Some people understand there may need to be exceptions (e.g. for emergency service workers), but others believe a compulsory return to the office should be outlawed in all cases. The priority for staff is to have full control over where they work.

“Going forward, it’s clear they want the freedom to work on their own terms, whether that’s returning to the office, working remotely, or a mix of both,” said Samantha Fisher, Head of Dynamic Work at Okta.

“A change in legislation would put the choice in the hands of employees, and give organizations the opportunity to undertake assessments, reevaluate processes, and enable better methods that support working across a multi-location strategy.”

Employees that are willing to work from the office expect bosses to make a few health and safety changes, such as reducing the number of people in the office, installing Covid-safe technology that helps maintain social distancing and mandatory mask-wearing.

Staff are also calling for the ability to arrive and leave work at different times to avoid commuting crowds.