DataSolutions, the specialised distributor of innovative IT and security solutions, has today revealed the findings of a survey which found that nearly a third of UK office workers (31%) admitted they would leave their current company if not offered the option to work from home, either part-time or full-time, on a permanent basis.
Significantly, the study – conducted by Censuswide in August 2020 and involving more than 1,019 UK respondents who have worked from home during lockdown and previously were in an office environment – showed that 67% of workers are satisfied with the options their organisations are offering in terms of working going forward*.
Some 41% of respondents will be expected to return to the office full-time, although less than a fifth (18%) have done so at the moment. A third of workers will be given the option of splitting their week between the office and home in the long-term, including 46% of those workers who only recently started working from home as a result of the pandemic.
Short-term success but planning is lacking
The majority of workers believe their company IT strategy was implemented quickly (58%), was adequate (53%) and has been effective (50%) throughout the pandemic. However, 39% of those say their company needs to update its IT strategy for the future.
Furthermore, 43% of organisations have not communicated their plans to staff in terms of a return to the office in the future. While 63% of respondents say their companies have invested in getting the office ready and compliant following the pandemic, more than half of organisations (62%) have not allocated budget to allowing workers to create a more permanent working from home environment.
This is despite the fact that close to a third (32%) of the employees in these companies have spent their own money on creating a more effective working from home environment, and more than three-quarters of workers say their productivity levels are either the same or better when working from home than in the office.
David Keating, Group Security Sales Director, DataSolutions, commented: “So far, UK businesses have done a great job of reacting to the crisis and implementing the makeshift technologies they needed to get by in the here and now. But there is still a huge amount of indecision about the future, as seen by the fact that 43% of organisations have not communicated their plans to staff in terms of returning to the office. This really needs to become the focus now.”
“While uncertainty remains in some respects, what is certain is that the normal we once knew is gone for good. Moreover, the new way of working that is being widely discussed needs to be enacted now with a well-thought-out strategy, proper investment and clear communication.”
“Companies need to ensure they are empowering people to work well from the office and at home with an effective IT model, underpinned by the right technologies and a robust infrastructure, that facilitates a hybrid approach and supports flexibility in the long-term. Too many companies are standing still at a time when they need to make decisions and move forward. Times are changing, therefore it′s time for change.”