Nearly two in face people currently working from home say they will never return to the office.
A new survey carried out this week shows 71 per cent of people prefer to work from home and 58 per cent believe they are more productive when they do so.
The poll carried out by YouGov on behalf of The Times shows the scale of the challenge employers face in getting staff back to the office.
Nearly two in face people currently working from home say they will never return to the office
Only nine per cent of workers have permanently returned to their desks since the government changed WFH advice last week.
A quarter of those surveyed say they have returned part time, while 63 per cent are working remotely and 39 per cent will stay at home for good.
The results will come as a concern to ministers who are keen to return to pre-pandemic levels of office work amid concerns over city centres and public transport systems.
Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay has written to each department’s permanent secretary, urging them to force civil servants back into the office.
Separate figures by technology company Freespace revealed offices were busier on Tuesdays to Thursdays but largely empty on Mondays and Fridays in the past year.
It comes after one of Britain’s top female bosses warned women risk missing out on career opportunities by staying at home.
Only nine per cent of workers have permanently returned to their desks since the government changed WFH advice last week
Surveys carried out in recent months have found more men than women in London never want to WFH once the pandemic ends, while only one in ten women across the UK who are WFH plan to return to the office.
Aviva chief executive Amanda Blanc, said she feared that if women continue to stay at home it would mean they are ‘not around when some of the conversations are being had’.
Ms Blanc, who is the Government’s Women in Finance champion and was in the top 30 of Forbes’ 100 most powerful women last year, said she wanted to ‘create the right environment for women to flourish’ in the sector.
She added that it was complex for the insurance giant’s 20,000 employees to come back into the office ‘because they’ve got to plan their lives around how they’re going to work, so the changing back and forth makes it difficult’.
Meanwhile psychology expert Sir Cary Cooper told MailOnline that he was concerned that women were less likely than men to go back into the office because being at home made family life and childcare more straightforward.
The Government’s Women in Finance champion Amanda Blanc, chief executive of Aviva, said today that she feared that if women continue to stay at home it would mean they are ‘not around when some of the conversations are being had’
Tax loophole allowing WFH staff to claim up to £125 a year for extra costs ‘will be closed after costing Treasury £500m during the pandemic’
A tax loophole allowing people working from home to claim for extra costs is set to be closed after it reportedly cost the Treasury nearly £500million during the pandemic.
HM Revenue and Customs is said to be reviewing the scheme which allows anyone who has worked just one day at home in a year to claim an annual sum of up to £125 in tax relief.
Before Covid, the scheme – which has existed since 2003 and is designed to help with the extra costs of home working such as internet, electricity and gas bills – cost the Treasury about £2million a year.
But at the beginning of the pandemic, when everyone had to work from home where possible, the rules were relaxed so that people no longer had to prove they worked from home regularly to claim.
Instead, working from home for just one day during the tax year was enough to claim the whole yearly sum. The tax-free relief was also raised from £4 to £6. Over a year, this adds up to £62.40 for basic-rate payers and £124.80 for higher earners.
The update was due to end in April 2021 but was extended for a year. HMRC said 4.9 million successful claims for the tax break have been made since March 2020. The changes meant the cost rose to nearly half a billion pounds over the two years of the pandemic, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Working from home guidance was lifted on Wednesday last week having been in place since December 13 last year as part of Boris Johnson’s Plan B measures to help fight the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
It comes as a tax break allowing anyone WFH to claim for extra costs is set to be closed by HM Revenue and Customs after the benefit reportedly cost the Treasury nearly £500million during the pandemic.
HMRC is said to be reviewing the scheme, which allows anyone who has worked just one day at home in a year to claim an annual sum of up to £125. Some 4.9million successful claims have been made since March 2020.
Talking about how women are being impacted differently by being brought back into the office, Ms Blanc told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday: ‘I do think that we need to think about what happens.
‘Because if what you see is that all the men come back into the office and the women don’t, then obviously the women are not around when some of the conversations are being had and they could miss out on opportunities and so that’s what I’m calling out, really, that I don’t want to happen.
‘We know that the progression of women in the financial services is just simply not good enough. We’re not moving women into more senior roles quickly enough – and I think it’s my role as the Government’s Women in Finance champion but also as a woman leading an organisation to make sure that we create the right environment for women to flourish and for women to be given the same opportunities as men.
‘So we just need to make sure that in the way that we work, we don’t jeopardise women’s opportunities.’
Speaking about the return to work of Aviva employees, she added: ‘My view is that we would like people to be in the office around three days a week. There’s going to be big flexibility around that.
‘I’m really keen that we do have some physical presence in the office, even though I think the way that we’ll work in the office will be different to pre-Covid.’
Meanwhile Sir Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Manchester Business School, told MailOnline this morning that women were more likely to work at home because it was ‘easier for them’ if they have children.
He said: ‘Men are more into their careers and getting ahead and play organisational politics more than women.
‘My real worry is that men will go back into the office and women, because they have the primary care responsibility still, won’t go back into the office as much because it’s easier for them, they can do the school run, and that by not going in as often – they will go in two or three days a week in hybrid working, which is what I think will happen with a lot of people, men will go in more than women – and it will disadvantage women because if you’re there, just showing facetime, men are still in the senior roles still, this will disadvantage your career.
‘Unfortunately I think that will happen, unless men during this two-year period have understood the value of children and understood the nature of their role in the family and got some benefit from being with kids – other than home schooling because no one liked that, it’s hard, it’s really hard work and should make us appreciate teachers more – but if men did, and there will be some who did, there would have been some men who were full time in the office but didn’t take up flexible working options, even then it was women who took it and men didn’t.
‘The reason was they thought it would adversely affect their career. Now it won’t but they’re still very ambitious on balance, their identity comes from work, and they understand the significance of organisational politics.
‘I’m just hoping that men learn something during this period of time and develop much more of a role within the family and their kids.’