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IWFM Urges Chancellor To Help Workers Worried About Costly Commute

IWFM Urges Chancellor To Help Workers Worried About Costly Commute
08 July 2020

IWFM believes that Rishi Sunak should announce a cut-price season ticket across the railways, and a cut to fuel duty in his speech today.

This would help the 43 per cent of workers that are worried about resuming the cost of commuting, says The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM).

New research has revealed that the number of employees who do not want to return to the office has nearly doubled since the start of the lockdown – rising to 34 per cent, from 19 per cent in April.

The YouGov poll, which surveyed 2,000 office workers across the country in April and again in late June, revealed that as employees settle into a home-working routine, attitudes towards a return to the office have hardened – with over half (51 per cent) believing this period has made the concept of an office unnecessary.

IWFM is the body for workplace and facilities professionals, whose aim is to demonstrate the value and contribution of workplace and facilities management more widely.


Financial Concerns, Health and Safety and Work/Life Balance


IWFM’s research has revealed several key drivers for workers wanting to continue working from home:


  • 42 per cent are concerned about having less free time for personal activities and 75 per cent enjoying the time saved on commuting
  • 43 per cent are concerned about reverting to a costly commute, rising to 58 per cent of 18-24 year olds
  •  Concerns over the financial impact of a commute are more prevalent than worries about being able to maintain social distancing on public transport (31 per cent)
  • Even with government guidelines in place, 41 per cent feel social distancing will be unrealistic to maintain in practice in an office environment, and 63 per cent do not feel their employer is doing enough to protect their health and safety in formulating return to the office plans
  • 73 per cent want their employer to offer more flexible working options in the future – with nearly a fifth (17 per cent) feeling so strongly that not being offered such options would lead them to search for a new job


Chris Moriarty, Director of Insight at the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management commented: “Humans are creatures of habit – and after months of lockdown, it’s unsurprising that many employees have become accustomed to a home-working routine. 

However, the role of the traditional office space in promoting connectivity, collaboration and cohesion contributing to the productivity and culture of an organisation cannot be understated.

“The makeup of workplaces will change as we move beyond the crisis. Office-based versus remote working must not be seen as a binary choice. Employers must make efforts to provide staff with compelling support and incentives to return to a corporate space, whilst also ensuring policies provide the choice and flexibility to maintain employee engagement and to retain talent.”


FMs Act as the Glue in Organisations


“They [facilities managers] act as the glue in organisations, marrying the space, culture and technology aspects of work into a workplace strategy that adds value and enables decisions that benefit employees and organisations alike.”

–Chris Moriarty

Director of Insight, IWFM 


Of those surveyed, 59 per cent reported to having received regular communication on steps to return to the office, and a further 45 per cent have been encouraged to provide input and feedback into return plans.

Moriarty continued: “It’s encouraging to see that employers are actively engaging with their workforce in formulating return plans. Workplace and facilities managers have a key role to play in turning this feedback into practical policies that enable a change in traditional working environments. 

“They act as the glue in organisations, marrying the space, culture and technology aspects of work into a workplace strategy that adds value and enables decisions that benefit employees and organisations alike.”

Picture: A photograph showing a busy London railway station

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 08 July 2020


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