As May 17th approaches and lockdown restrictions lift, many work firms have decided to extend the working from home policy till at least June 21st.
43 out of 50 of the UK’s biggest firms, which cover 1.1 million people from retail to banking have chosen to keep workers in office only part time mostly for training and safety reasons.
This decision comes as employees are facing high levels of anxiety and increased mental health regarding returning to work, due to being home for over a year. In a survey done by the Royal Society of Public Health, it was revealed that 45% of people thought working from home was better for their mental health and wellbeing compared to 29% of people thought it was worse.
However 74% of people would prefer to split office and home life, as most companies are hoping to do based on the individual workers needs.
Annabelle Sparks, 22, who is an administrative officer for insurance company Hastings Direct has been home since the first lockdown and though she will continue working from home she commented saying “the thought of returning to work makes me extremely anxious, I’m worried about returning to office life again. – I feel more comfortable working from home as it fits around my daily activities and I’m not restricted to when I take breaks, plus I’m in a more calm and relaxed environment”.
It is up to the employers on how to keep workers safe and keep up with the relevant social distancing rules and guidelines, along with frequent mental health check ups. Sparks also commented on the support she has received from her job, commenting that “my company has offered lots of support after covid, however I feel for those returning to office there hasn’t been as much support. They are going in without any guidance”.
Mental health charity Mind.uk has provided support and advice for people working from home, more here.