Do Employees Feel Supported by Their Managers After the Pandemic? (2022 Poll)

Following on from our recent articles exploring the ways in which UK office workers feel about their return to the workplace after the COVID-19 pandemic, we once again polled 450 individuals to determine how employees feel about the managers and bosses orchestrating a shift back into the office.

The questions presented by this poll asked respondents to give a general indication of how supported they’ve felt by management since returning to the workplace and outline whether they currently feel positive, negative, or neutral about their employer.

To summarise

  • 29.3% of UK office workers feel more supported by management since returning to the workplace 
  • On the other hand, 18.4% of respondents fell less supported 
  • 44.4% of UK office workers indicated that managerial support felt the same in a post-pandemic working environment
  • The remaining 7.8% of respondents stated that they haven’t returned to the workplace

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UK Office Workers Polled: Characteristics of a Good Manager

In May 2022, we conducted a poll of 450 working Britons to determine what they look for in a good manager. The ultimate goal of this poll was to gain a picture of where workers’ priorities stand after the COVID-19 pandemic, in terms of their preferred managerial style and methods of support. 

When conducting this poll, we made sure to limit our scope to UK office workers only; a group that experienced significant upheaval in their working lives as they shifted between the office and remote locations throughout the pandemic. It’s our belief that this group will be especially indicative of the ways in which evolving workplace norms can quickly impact the perceived characteristics of an effective manager.

Characteristics Presented to Respondents

In no particular order, the characteristics presented to respondents were:

  • Adherence to COVID-safety measures
  • Frequent and effective support on tasks
  • Empathetic leadership skills
  • Facilitation of flexible working schedules
  • Strong leadership style
  • Ability to build and maintain work culture 

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How Do UK Office Workers Rate Their Return to the Office?

two cartoon figures in front of a large clipboardWe conducted a poll in May 2022 asking 450 UK office workers to express how they felt their employers had managed their return to the workplace after COVID-19 lockdowns. Limiting our pool of respondents to just UK office workers provided us with the best indication of how businesses across the country managed the extreme transition between remote and in-person working schedules, as this group was amongst the most drastically impacted by mandated isolation.

This poll found that 

  • 54.5% of UK office workers found their employer’s roadmap out of lockdown to be well presented, providing clear direction
  • 27.6% of UK office workers felt they were confused by their workplace’s poorly presented roadmap out of lockdown
  • Surprisingly, 18% of respondent indicated that their employers had no plans or roadmap in place for their return to the office
  • When asked to rate their return to the office out of 5
    • 46.2% of respondents rated it 4 or higher 
    • 40.7% of respondents rated it 3 or lower 
    • 13.11% of respondents indicated that they hadn’t returned to the office

These results paint an interesting scenario, one in which roughly half of UK office workers are happy with their return to the office and the roadmap laid out by employers.  Continue reading “How Do UK Office Workers Rate Their Return to the Office?”

Most Desired Employee Perks for UK Office Workers (2022 Poll)

cartoon of woman sitting at a desk smiling at her computerWe asked 450 working Britons to rank a list of ten commonly offered workplace factors and employee perks to determine post-pandemic working preferences. This poll made sure to limit selected respondents to office workers, a group whose previously stringent 9-to-5 schedules and daily working rituals were heavily impacted by COVID-19. The ultimate goal of this poll is to provide businesses across the UK with a general indication of the workplace factors and employee perks most valued after the seismic disruptions of the pandemic.  Continue reading “Most Desired Employee Perks for UK Office Workers (2022 Poll)”

55% of UK Office Workers Favour Hybrid Working, Will the Office Ever Be the Same?

woman working at a desk with flowers and laptop on itIn May 2022, we conducted a poll of 450 office workers across the UK to determine their true working preferences. This poll was designed to inform us on a number of concepts related to the post-pandemic UK working landscape, with hybrid and various other working models receiving particular attention.

The most obvious and glaring takeaway from our poll was that more than half of respondents believe hybrid to be their ideal working arrangement. Prior to conducting this poll, we ensured that respondents were limited to individuals who had worked in an office environment prior to the pandemic, a group that we believe to be the most indicative of changing sentiments around in-person, remote, and hybrid working models. We posed many questions to these respondents regarding their pre-pandemic and post-pandemic working situations, as well as the ways in which their working preferences changed since the start of 2020. Results from related questions were seen to be in line with the 55% majority that indicated their preference for hybrid working arrangements for workers returning to the office. 

To summarise relevant findings, this poll illustrated that (rounded to the nearest whole number):

  • 55% of UK office workers see the hybrid model as their ideal working arrangement
  • 20% of respondents indicated a preference for full-time remote work, highlighting that a sizeable number of UK office workers have no desire to return to their former office spaces
  • On the other hand, 15% of workers polled believe that it’s ideal to return to the office full-time. A number which, despite being lower than the desire for full-time remote work, clearly illustrates support for more traditional working models
  • The clear minority (10%) of those polled preferred to return to work in a part-time capacity. Of those who desired part-time work, there was a slight preference for purely remote (56%) when compared to purely in-person (44%) schedules

Continue reading “55% of UK Office Workers Favour Hybrid Working, Will the Office Ever Be the Same?”

Can You Spot the Odd One Out in 5 Seconds? – London Umbrella Brainteaser

 

Can you spot the red umbrella in less than 5 seconds? There is only one red umbrella hidden within this sea of famous London icons – can you find it?

With the month of April forecast to bring a heatwave to the UK this year, we’ve created a fun April showers brainteaser to remind you all that the rain will be back again soon. Continue reading “Can You Spot the Odd One Out in 5 Seconds? – London Umbrella Brainteaser”

London Office Market Sees Highest Level of Occupier Activity since Before the Pandemic

Recent research undertaken by Knight Frank illustrated increased uptake in the London office space market throughout Q3 2021. The 55% increase in leasing transactions of 2.63 million sq ft leased in Q3 of 2021 demonstrates the highest quarterly increase recorded since 2009. Additional research carried out by Gerald Eve outlined a 30% increase in uptake to 2.8 million sq ft when compared to the previous quarter, something that they attribute to large commitments for space made by major occupants. Knight Frank’s research highlighted the importance of these major space commitments, with 42.4% of all transactions in Q3 being for spaces of 100,000 sq ft or more. To further support this growth in market activity, a report published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) showed that demand for the London commercial market grew at the fastest rate since 2016 between Q1 and Q2. Despite the pandemic bringing world economies to a near standstill, the London office market has bounced back strongly to witness the second consecutive quarter of increased demand. Here are some of the factors that influenced these high occupancy levels.

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East London Office Space Rental Costs & Vacancy Rates 2021

East London offices are home to a diverse mix of tenants, involved in sectors ranging from industry to manufacturing, technology, banking, and finance. Office-based businesses are attracted to this area due to its competitive rental rates and access to local talent.

2021 started off in East London with average prime rents of £45 per square foot. Rates for tenant controlled space were slightly lower at £42 per square foot. Asking rents were one of the few indicators that remained stable along with incentives, which currently amount to 30 months rent-free for office leases of 10 years or more.

Although rental rates experienced little changes during Q2 2021, they’re expected to decline by 10-15% by 2022, a figure substantially higher than in other London sub-markets.

As for vacancy rates in East London, they spiked to nearly 12% during the first three months of the year. Although this number is high, it’s still lower than the record-figure of 13.8% reached in 2020.

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South London Office Space Rental Costs & Vacancy Rates 2021

The South London office market has followed a slightly different trajectory to other parts of London, as it began to be developed later than other areas. Defined office space clusters in South London are relatively new, and the vast majority are located in or around the SE1 postcode. This area has a strong appeal for office-based companies involved in media and creative sectors, and has a positive balance between supply and demand.

However, South London hasn’t escaped the effects of pandemic-related restrictions. Overall office availability has increased by 20% in just one year, although top-quality offices are still holding their value. The same can be said about rent-free periods, which stand at 24 months for office leases of 10 years or more. At the time of writing, overall rental rates for Grade A offices in South London are in the mid £70s per square foot. Office units of 5,000 square feet and above may experience a rental decline between 7.5% and 12.5% by the end of Q2 2022.

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London City Fringe Office Space Rental Costs & Vacancy Rates 2021

London Fringe markets have a diverse occupier profile, from startups in the media and creative sectors in eastern areas like Hackney, to established tech firms in and around the Old Street roundabout. Until recently, commercial property in this area was in very high demand from both newcomers to the city and companies who relocated from other parts of London.

Although demand for offices in the City Fringe is still there, Brexit and pandemic-related uncertainty has put a damper on the area’s growth trajectory. In this area, overall vacancy rates have increased from under 6% to over 9% in the past year, and availability for the City Fringe sub-market is just under 12%.

The following is an area-by-area update on the state of City Fringe offices during 2021:

Clerkenwell

Clerkenwell is part of London’s Tech Belt and has a strong presence of office-based businesses primarily involved in design, architecture, media, and technology.

This sub-market started 2021 with signs of improvement in take up activity, however, take up levels are still more than 50% below the area’s ten-year average. Prime office headline rents average £75 per square foot, rising to over £110 once business rates are added.

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