Little appetite for returning to office full time, survey shows

Majority of Campaign readers expect to return to the office by October.

Working from home: staff appear keen to retain benefits
Working from home: staff appear keen to retain benefits

Advertising, media and marketing staff have got used to the upsides of working from home and are not keen on a full-time return to the office, a survey of registered Campaign readers shows.

Respondents to the study were asked in what way they would prefer to return to the office for work, assuming their employer could create a safe environment. Just one in eight (12.2%) said their preference was to return full time.

By far the most popular approach would be to return for certain days each week – something that is likely to be a reality for many, as businesses open their premises with a reduced capacity limit. Half (50.5%) said they would prefer this option. 

More than a quarter of participants (27.7%), meanwhile, said they would prefer to only go in for occasional meetings. One in 10 (9.5%) have taken to home working so well that they would like to continue to work from home at all times.

Campaign also asked readers when they thought their office would reopen – and the answers are widely spread out across the rest of the year and beyond. Two in five (41.9%) said September or October – the most common answer. 

Almost as many expected a speedy outcome, with 12.8% thinking their office would open by the end of June and another 26.4% saying July or August.

But significant numbers also expected full-time remote working to continue beyond October, with 7.4% saying their office would reopen in November or December and 9.6% saying 2021 or later. Meanwhile, 1.8% thought they would permanently work from home from now on.

The results of the second question closely correspond to a survey of agency financial chiefs carried out by wealth management company Connor Broadley earlier in May.