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Less than half of UK workforce understand employers’ back to work advice

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Less than half of employee’s don’t clearly understand the advice from their company for going back to work, according to new research.

As the Prime Minister urged non-essential workers to return to the office this Saturday, a study conducted by print firm, Solopress, reveals the main discomforts stopping both employers and employees from listening to the government’s “back to work” plea.

What employees are concerned about:

Pre-pandemic office regularities are now considered uncomfortable, with 44% of employees nervous about sharing equipment, communal spaces and bathrooms with fellow staff.

Where once a tea round was a necessary part of their nine to five, more than a quarter (27%) now feel uneasy about making hot drinks for their team members.

Ana, a marketing employee in London, is one of many employees who aren’t excited about the prospect of returning to the office.

“Normally if a colleague even has the flu, minimal contact is enough to spread a bug around the office – coronavirus is so much worse. The majority of my colleagues take public transport, and I just don’t trust that they are being meticulous when it comes to sanitising and keeping their distance from other people.

“I don’t think any employee should be going back this year at all, it’s still definitely not safe. Especially in an industry like marketing, we don’t need to physically be in the office to work, so I just don’t understand why employers are taking the risk.”

What employers are doing to address concerns:

Despite the government’s urgency to reopen offices, UK bosses are concerned about safety and hygiene.

Businesses are addressing these concerns as over half of staff vote hand sanitiser stations, social distancing floor stickers and face masks as the most important items to ensure their safety at work.

As a result, 69% of bosses will make hand sanitiser stations a permanent workplace addition, with 80% highlighting this as the most important way to ensure staff safety.

Simon Cooper, Managing Director of Solopress said: “Whilst it’s great for the UK economy that businesses are starting to reopen, it’s clear there are concerns about safety and hygiene with over half of the British workforce not trusting that their colleagues are following the government guidelines.

“With just a little investment in protective products and essential equipment, businesses can help ease these concerns and make the move back to the office as comfortable as possible. We’re proud to be producing items like sanitiser stations and floor stickers, which are clearly paramount in creating a safe office environment for staff.”



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