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As the nation gears up to return to the office, PUSH releases a report showing we are doing it for the wrong reasons

40% of employees do not want to return to the office full time, as working from home better for mental health

However, 40% of people suspect employers want them to return to the office as soon as possible, because they think their employees achieve less when working from home  

Leading wellbeing and performance company, PUSH, has released a report which suggests the nation is returning to work for the wrong reasons and in turn, to the detriment of their mental health.

The report, which pulls data from a recently conducted Yougov survey commissioned by PUSH, suggests that 36% of the working population think they will work nearly 100% of the time from the office once the pandemic is over. Yet, 35% of people – an almost identical number – felt they achieved more when working from home. So, why has the human element of returning to work, been overlooked?

PUSH founder, Cate Murden, suggests it’s a new form of presenteeism – a belief that even with the proof we are willing and able to work from home, employers still feel the physical presence of an employee in the workplace equates to better and more valuable deliverables.

Are we therefore returning to work for the wrong reasons? Because we think it will have a negative impact on our careers if we don’t, or because we are concerned with how a desire for flexibility is perceived by our employers? According to the 3,037 surveyed, 32% believed those who return to the office when asked are more likely to get promoted – that rises to 42% in the under 35s!

It is easy therefore to see why the next pandemic is projected to be centred on mental health.

Murden advises companies to instead use lockdown as a baseline for learning how we can protect the fallout from a sudden return to work: “The numbers that came back from this survey were shocking, but not surprising. If nothing else, it shows that we are still a long way from placing people at the heart of the organisation and not just bottom lines. Why, if we know we are doing better from home, are we feeling pressured to go back into the office?

Overlooking old behaviours and not learning from the past 12 months will be the downfall of many companies. Over the course of the pandemic alone we have supported some of the largest household names, including Whitbread, Toyota, Urban Outfitters and Rightmove, as they prepare for the wave of mental health issues that come with the new era of work. It is these companies, the ones that have used this time to adapt and grow, that will succeed.”

PUSH specialises in corporate wellness, mental health, leadership and professional development, working with clients to create tailored solutions to the challenges felt by their teams. Having seen 15% YoY growth during the pandemic and having delivered over 1,000 help sessions during that time, PUSH decided to commission and publish the Human Element Report outlining our views on the return to work.

For more information on how PUSH can support you during lockdown and beyond, visit www.pushmindbody.com or contact cate@pushmindandbody.com

Notes to editors: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3,037 employed adults in the private. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th – 16th April 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size.

About PUSH

Formed in 2014, PUSH is a leading wellbeing and performance company supporting fast growing companies unlock their human potential and achieve peak performance. Specialising in corporate wellnessmental health, leadership and professional development, they work with clients to create bold solutions to human problems; developing innovative thinking and positive change from within organisations. They have supported leading global brands including TikTok, Facebook, Google, ITV, Twitter, Spotify and Universal towards achieve ‘work-life brilliance.’ For more information visit www.pushmindbody.com 

About Cate Murden

Cate Murden is a woman on a mission to change lives; helping everyone that she works with think, feel and do better.

Cate founded her corporate wellness and mental health company, PUSH, in 2014. Since then, they have worked with 100 different organisations and, in the last year alone, they have delivered over 1,000 sessions – empowering individuals to live and work well. 92% of these sessions received 5* feedback.

During Covid, Cate was determined to support absolutely anyone that needed it. Offering an extensive programme of free webinars, workshops, psychotherapy 1-2-1s and now, the PUSH eBook ‘High Potential Hacks’; Cate has taken PUSH’s work directly into the community.

Cate has been described as a powerhouse of wellness. She has helped over 100,000 to change their lives – and, since the pandemic, almost 10,000 of those completely free of charge.

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