Almost one in five manufacturing workers do not intend to return to the office again post pandemic, largely due to ongoing concerns around infection control on public transport.
As employees across the UK have embarked on their return to the workplace following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in July, new research reveals that many commuters are still reluctant to return to their place of work in the coming months, mainly due to increased concern over infection control and social distancing on the daily commute.
According to a nationally-representative survey into 2,000 UK workers, conducted by corporate transport specialist Kura, nearly one fifth (19.1%) of workers in the manufacturing sector plan to never commute again post pandemic, with regional variations from 10.8% in London to 29.1% in Wales.
The reluctance to return to the workplace stems largely from the travel to and from work, with nearly 60% of workers admitting that they hold real concerns around the 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 commute.
Kura’s research uncovered that the key root to commuters’ concerns post lockdown is infection control and lack of social distancing on public transport. Across the UK, 36% of workers hold Covid-related concerns with regard to the future of the commute, and this percentage increases to 54.4% for those employees 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.