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Survey suggests people are more productive working from an office than at home

18 Dec 2023 5 minute read
Working from home

Stephen Price

A survey of over 2,000 full-time office workers has revealed the all-important question of whether employees feel more productive in the office.

The survey, conduced by Legal & General, provided insights into the changing dynamics of work environments to help better understand productivity, preferences, and the future of remote work.



The majority (59%) of office workers questioned believe they are more productive working in the office than at home. Suggesting that many find the office a good environment to maintain structure. 

75% have also embraced the newfound flexibility in their work arrangements. Opting to work from home at least some of the time. 

This reflects a significant shift in working habits since pre-COVID times. Where less than half of office workers (45%) reported being able to WFH at least once a week. 

Whilst Legal & General discovered 73% of office workers in Cardiff are still allowed to work from home, 27% are required to work from the office full-time. The results come at a time when there has been an increase in employers asking their employees to return more regularly to the office.

In fact, 61% of office workers in Cardiff revealed their employer has been asking them to come into the office more in the last few months, despite 55% of respondents in Cardiff stating the cost-of-living crisis had hindered their ability to work in the office more frequently.

When respondents in Cardiff were asked whether they preferred to work from home or in the office- the majority revealed they prefer working in the office (36%), followed by 36% who prefer working both equally in the office and at home and 28% who prefer working from home.

For those, who stated they preferred working in the office, the survey discovered the key reasons why office workers in Cardiff prefer it including that 61% of respondents found it easier to build necessary work relationships in the office.

Over half of respondents (57%) stated it was easier to communicate with colleagues in person rather than online.

52% of respondents in Cardiff enjoyed working in an office environment, while 48% said they were motivated by others when working from the office.

Overall, office workers in Cardiff agreed they are more productive working in the office rather than at home, with a significant 55% saying so. The results reveal employees are generally more productive in the office and can build the necessary relationships with their colleagues necessary for career growth.


How the remote landscape differs

Across industries, the survey also highlighted differences in working habits. IT and finance/accounting have seen a dramatic increase in remote work. 58% of these workers were remote before COVID, compared to 90% today.

In general, older workers are less likely to work from home. The survey found that 85% of 18–24-year-olds work from home at least sometimes, compared to 62% of people aged over 55. Business owners told us they work an average of 3.16 WFH days per week, whereas entry-level respondents reported an average of 1.66 WFH days. 

Results also show that the lower the level of seniority, the stronger the preference for office working. 47% of entry-level respondents prefer to work in the office, compared with 22% of business owners and C-level executives.

The cost of returning 

The return to the office is not uniform. 61% of respondents reported being asked to come into the office more in recent months. With 29% saying this comeback is heavily monitored and 32% saying it is encouraged but not enforced. 

60% of those polled expressed they would consider changing roles if required to return to the office full-time. 

The appeal of remote working is underscored by several reasons. Respondents cite saving time on commuting (73%), saving money (72%), and more flexibility (71%) as the top ones. To add to this, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact many Brits, 55% of respondents said the increasing financial pressures have impacted how regularly they can commute to the office.

Paula Llewellyn, CMO and Managing Director Direct at Legal and General Retail commented: “The pandemic threw everyone in the deep end with remote work. Anecdotally, we’ve seen people enjoy the positive impacts on their work life balance. However, on the other side, we’ve also heard stories of people feeling more isolated.

“Water cooler moments are key to any work culture. But they aren’t always as easy or organic through a computer screen. As the research shows, this is even more important for those starting their careers. Being able to build networks face to face is one of the best ways to upskill and progress.

“Many see the advantages of going into the office, but most also enjoy the freedom of remote work. It’s a balance, not only for the individual but also the businesses they work for. As how we work evolves, the future will likely see hybrid models, blending office working with remote flexibility. This approach gives employees the best of both worlds. While helping businesses to focus on productivity and wellbeing.”

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5 months ago

Horses for courses. Some thrive in an office environment, I never did, being a bit of a loner, and can honestly say I didn’t experience any “water-cooler moments” in 20 odd years of working full time in an office. What I did do though was spend several years in the latter part of that commuting an hour to work, to not speak to anybody there for the duration, and spend the day on video conferences with colleagues in other parts of the country. For many workers in large, geographically disperse companies, that is probably still the reality. I’ve been working… Read more »

5 months ago

I did it for donkeys years. Part field, part home, office only when I had to. Works just fine.
Leave it up to the staffers to work it out, provide the options. Work life balance is a lot better.

5 months ago

From a company angling to get everyone back in to the office and on the commute. I bet they have interests in building services and retail leasing too.

5 months ago
Reply to  lufcwls

They should be in the office working not from home what’s going to happen in a few years thier work will be sourced out to other countries at a cheaper rate than what they are paying now and if it does happen its own fault not the employer he’s there to make money.

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