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Iceni Magazine | June 11, 2021

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4 in 10 Brits Want the Topic of Covid Banned from Office Conversations

Topic of Covid Banned from Office Conversations

It is very strange to think that this summer could see the return of office life.

The commute, the colleagues, the clothes that are not pyjamas. Even though we think of it as ‘normal’ it will still take some getting used to the old routine. It does make you wonder what the new office routine will like, and how will people cope going back to the workplace?

Feelings on Returning

Shop sign specialists, instantprint, conducted a survey to gain insight into how the British public are feeling about going back to work. They asked 1,000 office workers and it was revealed that one in five (20%) were keen to go back to the office straight away. Over a third of those surveyed (36%) said they would prefer to continue working from home forever. A quarter (24%) are keen to go back to the workplace part-time and work from home the majority of the week. Only 8% of people said they would never feel comfortable going to the workplace again.

Banned Phrases

The printing company went on to ask people what phrases they wanted to be banned from the office. Overwhelmingly, and unsurprisingly, Covid came in top place. With 42% of correspondents saying they didn’t want to talk about it in the office. Politics (27%) and furlough (26%) came in second and third. It would appear that small talk might get more challenging. People also don’t want to be asked whether they’ve seen anything good on Netflix, or what they’re having for tea.

Office Conversations

After reading through all that, you might be a bit worried. What can you actually talk about with your colleagues? There are a few safe areas for workplace conversations. You could ask about their lockdown hobbies – whether it’s swapping baking tips or any good books – focus on any slim, silver linings that came from last year. You can ask people about their pets. People love any chance to show off their cute cat or precious pup. You could ask how they are genuinely doing. Taking care of mental health is so important, and this small question can make a difference.  

Hybrid Working

Going forward it’s likely that companies will move to a hybrid working approach. This will allow employees to work from home some days, and go to the office on others. It creates a flexible schedule for people and creates a better work-life balance. It is hoped it will increase productivity. A prime example of this hybrid model is HSBC. They’re getting rid of executive offices and creating more communal spaces.

It’s normal if you’re feeling strange about going back to work. Take your time adjusting and finding a routine that you feel comfortable with. How are you feeling about returning to the office?


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