16th October 2020

Over a quarter of the UK's finance teams will not be returning to the office says research

This week, a report from government-backed campaign Driving For Better Business revealed that 41% of companies in the capital currently have a plan in place to deal with a potential London lockdown, slightly above the country's average of 39%.

The research also showed that a third of 150 companies surveyed said a total shift to working from home under a London lockdown would compromise effective business management. This comes a week after the Office of National Statistics(ONS) showed that 67% of more than 24,500 British businesses surveyed said they do not intend to keep homeworking as a permanent business model in the future.

As the UK and the capital reel from the new lockdown restrictions, businesses now face the reality of new, regional lockdowns. Learning the lessons from the national lockdown, teams that can work effectively away from traditional working space are and will continue to do so.

Theta Global Advisors, a consulting and accounting firm that promotes flexible working for highly qualified accountants, has released research into the financial services and in-house finance teams and their return to work. It reveals that:
-26% of Brits say their company’s finance teams will not be returning to the office with other employees post-COVID and will work at home for the majority of the time moving forward
-Nearly a fifth-17%-of UK workers say their business will no longer be in a permanent office when they return to full-time work after COVID-19
-70% of City-based workers do not feel comfortable commuting to work via public transport anymore.

This research shows Brits and their finance teams are now not only working from home but will continue to do so post-pandemic, fundamentally changing the landscape of work in the UK. Chris Biggs, Partner and Founder of Theta Global Advisors, comments

"This research demonstrates the clear desire for people both in the Capital and finance teams not to return to their pre-COVID working environments, regardless of the calls from business leaders and politicians when this pandemics eventually comes to an end.

Many businesses have adapted to working away from the office and with so many people caring for vulnerable relatives, friends and children, it seems people do not want to return to the office in the long term. This will have a significant impact on how our workplaces will look beyond lockdown.

From the commute to boosted productivity when working from home, there are numerous benefits to flexible working that this period has uncovered for millions of employers and employees alike. Business leaders would do well to realise this and adapt now to pivot their business, remove unnecessary overheads and plan for a post-COVID future."

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