BUSINESSES may have to allow staff to continue working from home after the pandemic, according to the managing director of Cumbria’s Chamber of Commerce.

A YouGov survey for the BBC recently asked 1,684 people if workers would return to offices in a full-time basis once safe to do so, and 70 percent of the respondents felt that will not happen.

Most workers said that they would prefer to work from home either full-time or at least some of the time.

This has raised concerns amongst managers who feel that creativity in the workplace would be affected. In the same survey, around 50 percent of senior leaders feel that working from home could affect both creativity and collaboration.

Suzanne Caldwell, managing director of Cumbria’s Chamber of Commerce, believes it is too soon to know how work will be conducted once it is safe to return to some form of normality.

She said: “It’s difficult to know at this stage how much is people saying they’re not going back and how much of this will turn out to be the case longer term. There is a general view that there will be a significant continuation of home working, at least as part of a hybrid/flexible approach.

"We do know that a substantial number of businesses are downsizing their office space where they can, or considering it, and not everyone has a desk to go back to, with a move to more hot desking. This can result in substantial savings for businesses.”

Mrs Caldwell added that a return to workspaces may help increase productivity. She said: “It is more feasible for some job roles and organisations than others and the most probable outcome is that most “office workers” will still work in an office some or all of the time. That’s particularly the case where the office is closely linked with production activity.”