'One in five' Scots workers told to return to office full time

Research showed that 22% of Scottish workers have been asked to return to the office on a permanent basis.

‘One in five’ Scots workers told to return to office full time iStock

Over a fifth of Scottish workers have been told to return to the office full time, according to new research.

A total of 22% of desk-based workers have now been asked to go back into the office on a full-time basis and told not to work from home.

The findings, carried out for the social business Flexibility Works, also indicated that 45% of office workers felt that they were doing jobs in the office that could be better done from home.

The research, which was carried out in July, was undertook by Flexibility Works, who are funded by the Scottish Government, in a bid to examine how hybrid working is being implemented.

Commissioned to 1,000 desk based workers in Scotland, the survey found that 22% said they had been told to return to the office full time by their employer, while 23% said their bosses had given them the freedom to choose.

Nine out of 10 of workers with complete freedom over where they work said they were happy with their employers – compared with less than three quarters of those who have been asked to be in the office full time.

Nikki Slowey, the co-founder and director of Flexibility Works, said some bosses were adopting an “overly rigid way of working”.

She said: “We were surprised to see one in five, desk-based workers being asked to work in the office full time.

“It suggests some employers still think flexible and hybrid working are too complicated, or they still don’t trust workers when they’re out of sight.

“Workers absolutely understand the need for some face-to-face conversations and collaboration. And the office still has an important role to play in team cohesion, creative tasks and for training.

“We’re urging more employers to listen to their workers to find out what they think will work best, rather than implementing a well-meant but top-down working model.

“We know people are happier, more motivated and productive if they have some choice and control around where, when and how much work they do, so employers are missing a trick in nurturing a high-performing, loyal workforce if they insist on an overly rigid way of working.

“While the more brutal flipside is that people are more likely to leave their job for greater flexibility elsewhere.”

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