DeVono Cresa, the UK’s leading occupier-only consultancy firm, has surveyed businesses about their return to the office.

The easing of lockdown measures and the gradual reopening of the economy is prompting more businesses to implement a return to the office process for their staff.

For that reason, DeVono Cresa, the UK’s leading occupier-only consultancy firm, has developed a high-level Return-to-the-Office Risk Assessment, that guides the data needed to help businesses prepare for that safe return and achieve a ‘COVID-19 Secure’ workplace.

The research found that for the majority of firms (69%), the impact of not having employees physically in the office has not been ideal, but firms have managed. Only a small proportion (5%) are finding the situation damaging to their business processes.

Getting staff back into the office is a key goal for employers, with 58% expecting at least half of their workforce to return within the next three months

The assessment showed that there are areas of concern that should be addressed. 26% of businesses are unsure if their landlord has made shared space COVID-19 secure. Furthermore, over half (53%) of employees have no desk dividers and 42% of companies have desks smaller than 1.6m. The findings also showed that only 5% of businesses enforce clear desk policy.

When it comes to commuting to the office, 71% of people say their journeys take over 30 minutes.

Chris Lewis and Luke Philpott, who created this report at DeVono Cresa, comment: “Our research showed that there are areas that posed an element of risk.

“A secure and healthy return to the office, coupled with employee safety and well-being is paramount for businesses and will prove to be a useful tool to feed into future office strategy.”

The DeVono Cresa team recommends:

  • Ensure that your staff have enough information and guidance to make decisions about whether to return to the workplace
  • Commit to a dialogue with your landlord regarding safety and sanitisation of communal space and amenities
  • Introduce robust policies both for working remotely and from the office
  • Take time to understand staff wellbeing, mental health and if they are comfortable working remotely or would like to return to the office.

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