How many of us will be going back to the office and what does it mean for the future of the way we work?

For more than a year, many of us have been forced to swop the office for home.

Our towns and cities were turned into ghost towns overnight due to lockdown.  But when restrictions are lifted, just how many will return to the office?

A new study by the University of Manchester suggests the majority of workers would favour a switch to "hybrid working", meaning the old five-day week model of office work being replaced with more flexible arrangements, such as three days at home and two in the office.

Nearly eight out of 10 (78%) said they would prefer to be in the office two days a week or less, according to a new study. Credit: University of Manchester.
  • Less than one in 10 people who are working from home want to spend the majority of their time in the office when coronavirus restrictions lift.

  • Only 9% of those currently working from home want to be in the office four or five days a week.

  • Nearly eight out of 10 (78%) said they would prefer to be in the office two days a week or less, according to a new study.

  • And almost a third (31%) said they did not want to spend anytime in the office - saying their preference would be to have zero days there.


We spoke to staff and managers at Carfinance 247, which is based inManchester city centre.

Out of more than 400 employees - only about 150 are currently working in the office.

Chief executive Reg Rix admits he was nervous about employees working from home, but the company has performed well over the last year with people working from home. 

While he'll be encouraging workers back, he's happy to look at a more flexible approach going forward.

If you'd said to me pre-Covid, 60% of people would be working from home, it would've made me very nervous but the business is performing very well and we're in great shape but without that (Covid) it would never have happened.

Reg Rix, Chief Executive of Car Finance 247

Centre for Cities research shows that city centres like Manchester and Liverpool were hardest hit by the pandemic - but they can recover faster if people return to the office. \

If they don't - they'll struggle.