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 are embarking on their return to the workplace following the easing of restrictions, new research suggests that many commuters are 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 the survey, nearly one fifth of workers in the manufacturing industry plan to never commute again post pandemic.

The reluctance to return to the workplace stems largely from the travel to and from work, with nearly 60 per cent of workers across the UK admitting that they hold real concerns around the commute post lockdown. This is particularly prevalent for the senior workforce, with board level directors and managers holding the biggest concerns over the future of the commute.

The 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 per cent of workers hold Covid related concerns with regard to the future of the commute. There is a strong cry for help with commuting from employees, particularly graduates and junior executives. Despite this, the commute is not a priority for the vast majority of businesses across the UK, with just 16 per cent of companies expressing desire to monitor or support employees on their commute going forward.

“As restrictions are lifted and employees are requested to return to the workplace, there will undoubtedly be more thought and consideration given to the regular commute,” Godfrey Ryan, CEO of Kura, said. “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.”

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