Almost one in five construction workers have said that they don’t intend to return to the office post pandemic, mostly due to ongoing concerns around infection control on public transport.
According to results from a new survey, which was conducted by Kura, nearly one fifth, 19.1%, of workers in the construction industry are planning never to commute again post pandemic, with regional variations from 10.8% in London to 29.1% in Wales.
This reluctance to return to the workplace stems largely from the travel to and from work, with almost 60% of workers in the UK admitting that they have real concerns around their commute post lockdown. This is particularly prevalent for the senior workforce, with Board-level (98%), Directors (85%) and Managers (77%) holding the biggest concerns over the future of the work commute.
Kura’s research also uncovered that the root of commuters’ concerns is infection control and lack of social distancing on public transport. Throughout the UK, 36% of workers have COVID-related concerns about the future of their work commute, and this percentage increases to 54.4% of those employees who are commuting in and around London.
There is a strong cry for help with commuting from employees, particularly Graduates (70%) and Junior Executives (73%). Despite this, the commute is not a priority for the vast majority of businesses across the UK, with just 16.4% of companies expressing desire to monitor or support employees on their commute going forward.
Godfrey Ryan, CEO of Kura, commented: “As COVID-19 restrictions lift and employees are requested to return to the workplace, there will undoubtedly be more thought and consideration given to the regular commute. With increased awareness around factors such as infection control and social distancing, we will inevitably see a shift in the commuting landscape.
“For public transport commuters in particular, the perceived lack of infection control, unreliability of service and overcrowding is hampering employers hopes of an office-based or hybrid workforce post lockdown. As these fears continue to prevent workers from wanting to return to the office, it is time for employers to step up and offer alternative travel support to their employees where necessary.
“It is reassuring to see that the home to work journey is becoming an increasingly important consideration for businesses across London, with 30% expressing a desire to support their employees on the commute. Hopefully we will start to see other regions across the UK follow suit in the coming months, as the capital sets the precedent.”
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