THE government is encouraging businesses to return to work in their offices but new data from a recent survey of 1,000 office workers has revealed how people in Oxford actually feel about going back.

The research by Moneypenny found that over half of workers in the city would have concerns about Covid-19 risks if they had to return to the workplace.

There also seems to be a lot of trust in Oxford workers’ colleagues, as over half of staff trust all of their co-workers to keep to social distancing and follow other Covid safety measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

However, a quarter of workers would not feel comfortable with doing the tea round for the office and have decided to only make hot drinks for themselves.

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A spokesman for Moneypenny said: "Fifty-three per cent of Oxford staff admitted to having some concerns about Covid risks, and 33% are entirely comfortable with returning to work.

"With a return to the office, commuting also has to be taken into consideration, with public transport being of higher risk than other forms of transport.

"The data shows that 58% of workers in Oxford will be choosing to take their own cars to work to avoid contamination, with the rest either walking, cycling or taking public transport.

"Fifty per cent of Oxford office workers said they had no problems with wearing a face mask. However, 25% said they would find it too much to do a whole day of work wearing a mask.

Fifty-five per cent of workers in Oxford trust all of their colleagues, whilst 33% only trust specific colleagues."

A new survey of 1,000 office workers across the UK reveals how the nation is feeling about getting back to work. With many returning after months in isolation, anxieties are expected to be high.

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The research carried out by Moneypenny, the outsourced communications provider, showed that almost half (45%) of the office workers surveyed said they have already returned to the office, with a further 31% saying they’ve been given the go-ahead to return within the next one to four months.

However, around 5% said their employers have stated they won’t return to work until January 2021 at the earliest, and around 18% have not been given a date to return as of yet.

The majority of those that stated they are already back in the office were situated in the North East and the East Midlands, with East England and Scotland having the highest percentages of those with no return date as of yet.

Furthermore, the findings showed that over a third (34%) of workers are entirely comfortable returning to the office. However, 48% admitted to having some concerns about coronavirus risks.

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When looking at the regional data, around a quarter of those in Yorkshire said that they were not comfortable with returning to the office and with a further look into why this might be, the research revealed that only 15% of Yorkshire residents said that their workplace has made masks compulsory in all areas of their offices, the lowest percentage of any region in the UK.

However, those in Northern Ireland were the most comfortable about returning to the office, with around 47% saying they had no issue with getting back to work.

With a return to the office, commuting also has to be taken into consideration, with public transport being of higher risk than other forms of transport.

The data shows that the majority (66%) of office workers will be choosing to take their own cars to work to avoid contamination.

Shared transport, such as car shares and public transport had the lowest percentages. Manchester had the lowest percentage of workers stating they would be using public transport, with only 7% claiming it to be their commuting method of choice, compared to the 16% national average.

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Over a third (37%) of office workers said they had no problems with wearing a face mask. However, a further 36% said they would find it too much to do a whole day of work wearing a mask and 13% said they don’t mind wearing a mask at work short-term, but would be less happy if the policy became long-term.

In larger cities, masks are slowly becoming compulsory. 40% of those in London stated that their companies have already made masks compulsory for all areas of the office. Those in Leicester, the city with the first regional specific lockdown, have the highest rate of compulsory mask policies, with 58% saying that the policy had been enforced in their place of work already.

The national average of those that said mask wearing was voluntary and that they were not going to wear one was 26%, however in Wales, 36% said that they were going to choose not to wear a mask. Those in Yorkshire, the region that said they felt least comfortable with returning to work, were one of the most likely to wear a mask with 27%, even though it is not compulsory.

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The study also highlighted that 61% of workers have already been introduced to staggered start, break and finish times, in order to keep workers away from each other as much as possible.

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However, 16% said that they still don’t trust their colleagues to social distance in the office, with Scotland’s workers being the least trusting. Those in the North East were the most trusting of their colleagues, with a huge 64% saying they trusted their teammates to keep to strict guidelines. A further 11% said that they would report those that didn’t comply with the social distance rules.

3GEM carried out the research on behalf of Moneypenny. The survey questioned 1,000 UK office workers between July 30 and August 3.