Return to five days in the office will undo progress in promoting work-life balance

Following predictions from think tank, Centre for Cities, that a five-day office week will be the norm again within two years, workplace wellness experts are highlighting the implication that this may have on employee wellbeing, especially as many have found proper work-life balance for the first time during the pandemic.

Jason Brennan, Director of Wellness & Leadership at Wrkit, said: “The idea that a five-day office working week will be back seems to be a bit of a premature prediction at this stage. Most employers are currently helping staff adjust to the idea of travelling to work again and we don’t know how the return to the workplace following the pandemic is going to go yet.

“Indeed, a significant number of employees are very much looking forward to being back in the workplace, spending time with their colleagues and friends and being able to collaborate in person, but this is not the case for all. Workers have now had some insight into what life can be like working at home, and for many, it has allowed them to strike a healthy work-life balance which was less achievable when spending five days a week in the workplace.

“For many, the practical benefits of easier childcare, reduced commuting stress, better sleep and increased time at home will be something they are not prepared to forgo for the sake of their improved overall wellbeing. Furthermore, a number of teams and businesses have found they can produce work of the same, if not better, quality and quantity from home.

“Now that businesses and staff have this insight into what real work-life balance can look like, I anticipate there being more reluctance than has been predicted to simply going back to how things were before the pandemic.”

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