Research carried out by Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey) suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic has not caused the end of ‘city life’.
The report indicates that a third (36 per cent) of the capital's workforce is currently working on a hybrid basis with just 14 per cent working remotely on a full-time basis.
Although 37 per cent say they would be keen to have a booster vaccination to avoid further lockdowns, the report suggests vaccination hesitancy is higher in London than the rest of the UK. Londoners are 50 per cent less likely to have had a single vaccination dose than the average UK worker.
Flexible and hybrid work have become core to London knowledge work businesses with 59 per cent now offering hybrid working structures.
The research also shows that London employees are demanding more from employers, with unlimited holiday (47 per cent) and a four-day work week (43 per cent) the top two benefits Londoners want that they don’t already have.
And although 50 per cent of Londoners would go back to the office if asked, 46 per cent would rather quit than go back into the office full-time. Another 30 per cent believe that working patterns have shifted permanently and hybrid will remain a mainstay of office culture in 2022.
Alongside new work environments, proximity bias was also raised as a consideration for companies mapping out their future approach. The idea of employees with close physical proximity to their team and company leaders being perceived as better workers, be sought out for their opinions more regularly, and ultimately find more success in the workplace than their remote counterparts.
When asked about proximity bias, 26 per cent of Londoners have worries about missing out on opportunities if they are working remotely. Another 22 per cent expressed concern that their employers will not take their opinions and feedback into consideration when deciding on work policies in 2022.
Momentive believes its findings demonstrate that while a return to the office is in motion, employers need to still be careful about returning to ‘old’ ways of working if they want to retain staff.
For instance, a larger portion of employers are taking employee feedback into account. 60 per cent of Londoners said that they were asked for feedback by their employer during the pandemic, and 40 per cent believe that the changing work environment brought about by the pandemic has meant that employers now listen to their opinions regarding business policies.
This study was conducted online from September 15-16, 2021, among a national sample of 2,005 adults aged 18 and over, living in the UK. Respondents were selected from a panel of respondents compensated to take surveys relevant to them. The modelled error estimate for the full sample is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. Data has been weighted for age, sex, education, and geography using the Office for National Statistics’ 2010 Census to reflect the demographic composition of the UK aged 18 and over.