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Concerns over mental health impact of returning to 'normal way of working' after the pandemic

Kalila Sangster
·2-min read
Some 11.8 million Brits do not want to go back to a 'normal way of working in an office environment with normal office hours,' according to a study. Photo: Getty
Some 11.8 million Brits do not want to go back to a 'normal way of working in an office environment with normal office hours,' according to a study. Photo: Getty

Over a third (35%) of Brits say that returning to a “normal way of working” after the second coronavirus lockdown in England will have negative impact on their mental health, according to new research.

Some 11.8 million UK workers — 57% of people — do not want to go back to a “normal way of working in an office environment with normal office hours,” the survey of 2,000 employees by Theta Global Advisors found.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of workers do not feel comfortable commuting to work via public transport during the current climate and said they expect it will be one of the most stressful parts of their day.

Four in 10 employees said that working from home during the coronavirus pandemic made them realise that they had a poor work-life balance before lockdown and they do not want to return to it after COVID-19.

Over half (52%) said they now have a better work-life balance after working from home and want to continue to do so in some capacity in the future.

The coronavirus pandemic has also pushed a third (34%) of Brits to look towards freelance work or starting their own business.

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Six in 10 employees think workplaces will have to “change drastically for the better” for businesses to avoid losing their best talent to freelancing and consulting post-COVID-19.

Some 44% of Brits are currently working from home and do not expect to return to the office until at least 2021, according to the research.

Over a third (36%) of Londoners said their company is planning to return to the office with a smaller team with employees handling more varied responsibilities, the survey found.

As England emerges from the second month-long lockdown on Wednesday, the country enters a tiered system allowing workers in Tier 1 to go back to the office. However, the government is advising people to work from home if they can.

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