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Workers going into office 1.5 days a week, survey suggests

Consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates surveyed 43 offices in the UK, representing nearly 50,000 people, in June and July. It suggests average attendance was 29%, with a peak of 39% mid-week. During the pandemic, offices shifted to home-working but many have continued with a hybrid model since then. Pre-Covid, UK workers were going into the office an average of 3.8 days a week, according to the research which covered sectors including banking, energy, engineering, healthcare, insurance and tech. However, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the majority of people do not work from home. Its survey in spring 2022, when guidance to work from home was no longer in place in Great Britain, suggested 38% of working adults reported having worked from home at some point over the past seven days.

Advanced Workplace Associates, which advises organisations including the Cabinet Office, NatWest and Network Rail, found the UK was broadly in line with other countries. It also surveyed 36 offices in 12 other countries, representing more than 27,000 people. The consultancy’s findings suggested people were coming into the office an average of 1.4 days a week, compared to 3.8 days a week pre-pandemic. Average attendance was 26%, with a peak of 35% mid-week. North America and Latin America had the lowest average attendance.

Banking had the highest average attendance of the sectors surveyed and tech had the lowest. The survey suggested organisations with hybrid working policies – where they specify employees should be in the office for a certain number of days – had higher attendance than those that did not. However, employees still appeared to be going into the office less than the policy mandated. If an employer trusts its teams to set their own policies, attendance is 41% – almost the same as where a three-day week is imposed. The UK government first asked people to work from home if they could in March 2020.

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