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News Release: Over half of office workers may seek new roles if denied flexible working

20 November 2023
  • Remit Consulting’s study reveals UK office workers value flexibility and face-to-face interaction.
  • Post-pandemic trends indicate a shift towards part-time office presence as the new norm.

A recent study conducted by Remit Consulting highlights a growing demand for flexibility from office workers, with nearly 60% of respondents indicating that they would consider leaving their jobs if required to return to full-time office work.

The Office Workers Survey, part of Remit Consulting’s ongoing research into office occupancy rates, analysed the preferences of UK office workers regarding their workplace environment and encompassed responses from across the UK. The survey focused primarily on the factors that attract staff to office work and the aspects they find least appealing.

The research revealed that a significant 69% of participants enjoy the office setting, with a preference for in-person interactions, as evidenced by face-to-face meetings being the primary reason for office attendance.

The notable deterrents to office work included noise, distractions, and the time and cost of commuting as the main concerns. These findings suggest that a balanced office environment, which offers both quiet areas for focused work and communal spaces for collaboration, is paramount to drawing workers back to the office.

The results of the survey also indicated a trend towards reduced office attendance post-pandemic, with a three-day office week becoming the emerging norm. This shift underscores a preference for a part-time presence in the office, allowing for a blend of remote and on-site work that better accommodates work-life balance.

In addition to providing valuable insights for investors and occupiers, Remit Consulting's analysis indicates that while the office remains an important hub for professional activity, its role and the way it is utilised are changing.

“The traditional office is undergoing a renaissance, not a redundancy and the data points towards a future where the physical workspace is more adaptive to individual needs, potentially heralding a new era in office design and functionality,” said Elijah Lewis, lead researcher at Remit Consulting.

“Our study underscores that offices must evolve beyond mere workspaces to become adaptable environments that resonate with the diverse needs of today's workforce. It is essential that business occupiers, landlords, asset managers, and developers work together, to embrace this evolution to create office environments that are not only functional but also inspirational, that will draw professionals back to the workplace, not because they have to be there, but because they want to be.

“The future of the office is one where every square foot is curated to foster engagement, productivity, and well-being,” he added.

A copy of the Office Worker Survey report is available from Remit Consulting upon request.