UK workers going into office less than 1.5 days a week, data shows

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Westend61/Getty</span>
Photograph: Westend61/Getty

The typical UK worker is going into the office less than 1.5 days a week – with Friday the most popular day to work from home, according to a global survey.

The consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) surveyed 43 offices in the UK, covering nearly 50,000 workers, in June and July.

The report found that the average attendance was 29% – just 1.45 days of a standard five-day working week – peaking at 39% mid-week. Offices are at their quietest on Fridays, at 13% attendance, and Mondays, when less than a fifth of workers go in (19%).

“Due to the pandemic, the hybrid-working genie is out of the bottle,” said Andrew Mawson, the managing director of AWA.

The global report found that those working in the banking industry had the highest average weekly office attendance rate at 47%, while the tech and logistics industries were most likely to work from home, heading to the office just 15% of the time.

The report also found that when companies had no hybrid-working policy, people came in on average less than one day a week. Even companies that try to force staff to attend three days a week struggle, with employees going into work on average just 2.1 days a week.

When an employer trusts its workers to make their own decisions about office attendance, the average is two days in the office a week.

“Even where employers try to force staff into the office two or three days a week, employees don’t comply,” said Mawson. “Organisations need to look at the data showing that two-thirds of desks are unused and work with their employees to find smarter, more efficient ways of working that will fit in with how people want to live their lives, save money and be more environmentally friendly.”

The AWA says previous surveys conducted during Covid found that before the pandemic workers were coming into the office on average 3.8 days a week.

In a survey of 36 offices in 12 other countries, the AWA found workers were attending the office just 1.4 days a week – 26% lower than the UK average. Office attendance peaks on Wednesdays at 31%.