Will everyone return to office-based working by 2026?

According to research by KPMG, two thirds of CEOs expect a return to the five-day office-based week by 2026.

But is that realistic?

Is it affordable?

From an employer’s perspective it might seem desirable at first glance.

But it is important to consider the costs of either renting or buying suitable office space as costs are likely to have risen substantially.

Then there are the energy costs, which will also have risen. In addition, the Government aims to have all commercial buildings in the country with an energy performance certificate rating of A or B by the end of the decade. This is also likely to add to landlords’ costs, which would inevitably be passed on to leaseholders.

There are further, perhaps not yet quantifiable costs as the survey pointed out that 83% of UK executives, believed that financial rewards and promotion opportunities could be linked in future to office attendance.

According to Jon Holt, the chief executive of KPMG UK, a move to return to fully office-based working is likely to raise tensions between employers and employees.

“Issuing an ‘all hands on deck’ edict is a simple response to a complex issue – it won’t work for all businesses,” he said.

Many people have got used to the benefits of remote working, which include avoiding a sometimes-lengthy commute, better time management, lower costs and the ability to manage life in general more easily.

According to an article on the issue in the Guardian newspaper “Multiple employee surveys in recent years have shown that most workers have no desire to return to their desks full-time, with some saying they would quit their jobs if current workplace flexibility was taken away.”

Clearly, a lot more thought needs to be given before contemplating such a move.

Have you been working remotely and happily? Would you be happy to return to the office?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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