• Only 57% of respondents feel they are as productive working remotely 
  • Just 13% can manage and train teams as effectively
  • 31% would accept a cash incentive of £10 or less per day to return to the office 
  • 28% are concerned about job security over the next year 
  • 56% don’t understand the recent three-tier government lockdown system

UK office workers want to continue working remotely after Covid-19 restrictions lift, despite admitting their productivity is significantly reduced, according to new research released today by Locatee – the workspace occupancy and analytics provider. Commissioned by YouGov, the research provides insight into UK office workers’ attitudes towards productivity, job security, and the prospect of further Covid-19 restrictions. 


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Low enthusiasm for office working

According to Locatee’s research, if given the choice, just 7% of respondents would opt to return to the office full time. Almost one in five (18%) would choose to work from home every day, whilst a third (32%) would opt to work from home most days. Those with three or more children are the most likely to want to return to the office permanently (11%), whilst men are more keen than women to return (49% vs 44%). 

Comforts of home working

Asked to identify the key reasons for working from home, 72% of respondents flagged ‘comfort’, whilst 50% stated they feel more productive. For a third (32%), fear of contracting Coronavirus in the office is still a significant concern. Half (50%) feel the time spent commuting is too high, while a quarter (25%) enjoy time away from colleagues. 

Negative impact on productivity

Despite remote working proving popular, there is a negative impact on productivity. Only 57% feel the standard of their work is equal to or higher than it was when based in an office. Just 13% of respondents feel they manage or train teams as effectively when working remotely. Creativity and brainstorming are also hindered – only a quarter (26%) feel they can execute as effectively remotely. 

Cash incentives

Cash incentives are a key motivator in getting reluctant workers back into offices. Almost a third (31%) would be willing to accept an extra £10 or less per day to return (an additional £2,540 per annum per employee). A further 37% would accept between £20 and £30 additional pay per day (up to £7,620 per annum per employee). Increased holiday allowance is the second most popular motivator to return (38%), followed by more desk space (23%) and better technology such as laptops and mobiles (22%). A quarter (25%) of respondents state that no incentive would encourage them to work more frequently from the office. 

Concerns over job security

Job security over the next year is a concern for over a quarter of respondents (28%). Londoners are the most worried about holding onto their job (37%), followed by those in the Midlands (32%) and the East (26%). 73% of women feel secure in their jobs, compared to 70% of men. 45-54 year olds are the age group most concerned about losing their job (35%), compared to 23% of 25-34 year olds. 

Confusion over ‘three-tier’ system

The recent ‘three-tier’ lockdown system imposed by the UK government has proved confusing and difficult to understand. Well less than half (40%) feel they could confidently explain the system to a friend, whilst the majority (56%) feel ‘not confident’. Only 34% of all respondents aged 18 – 24 years olds feel could explain the restrictions.  

Reactions to extending lockdown

When asked to consider a scenario where the UK was still under the current lockdown measures in six months (April 2021), over a third (37%) would feel disappointed. (41% male vs 33% female). Regionally, those in London and Scotland would be most disappointed (42%), along with those with three or more children (46%). Over a quarter (26%) of those polled feel ‘neutral’ at the prospect, while 18% feel calm. 

Lockdown weight gain

Weight gain during lockdown is an issue for more than half (53%) of respondents, with females more likely to feel they’ve put on weight than males (57% vs 50%). 60% of separated or divorced respondents feel they’ve gained weight, compared to 50% of those married. 

Thomas Kessler – CEO and co-founder at Locatee – comments:
The research shows us there’s a clear appetite for UK office workers to retain the option of remote working after restrictions lift. However the issue of reduced productivity needs consideration: it’s worrying that only 13% of managers can effectively lead teams remotely.

Requirements for UK office space will undergo a significant shift over the next year, with fewer workers needing a full-time desk. This creates an opportunity for companies to take a data-driven approach to workspace planning, and create an optimal office environment which both serves employees’ needs, and saves on unnecessary real-estate costs. Companies which optimise their workplace early-on stand to save significant amounts, and effective planning should therefore be a key priority.”


About the research

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4373 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd – 25th October 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).


Too much text?

Download the infographic below!

Being a Corporate Real Estate Manager in 2020 is more difficult than it ever has been. Faced with so much disruption and unprecedented developments, where do workplace leaders even begin to find their bearings?

This Workplace Leader’s Handbook is designed to guide you through the transformation coming to the workplace.

Within its pages, you’ll find answers to questions such as:

  • What will the roles and responsibilities of the workplace leader look like in the near future?
  • Given all the things taking place now, what will be the new topics of interest that determine CREM success?
  • What are the up-and-coming tools that all workplace leaders should familiarise themselves with?

With insights from key workplace leaders and industry research conducted by Memoori, this handbook has the tips and guidance you need to land on the right side of the disruption currently shaking and shaping the world of work.

ZÜRICH, SWITZERLAND—Locatee, the workplace analytics solution that provides office occupancy and utilisation intelligence, announced today that effective immediately, its employees can work from home if they choose to do so forever.

“What we’ve seen over the past several months is the world’s largest remote working experiment,” says Thomas Kessler, co-founder and CEO of Locatee. “Although COVID-19 has presented many disruptive challenges, this is one we’ve managed to overcome. We’re certain that by giving our team the choice and freedom to choose their workplace— whether it’s in the office or at home—we’ll not only stay productive, but we’ll be improving overall employee well-being.”


Driving the company mission and culture

“Results from our internal staff survey revealed both a real desire and a beneficial impact of working from home on the lives of team members,” explains Charlotte Maurin, Locatee’s HR Manager. “Our core mission at Locatee has always been to create environments where people love to work: these environments don’t necessarily need to be represented by a physical space anchored to an office building.”

The company does not plan to reduce any office space and will maintain the current size of its headquarters for its staff members who wish to continue working from the office on a regular basis. “One thing we’ve learned during this time is that the office will not lose its relevance—it will take on a more purposeful significance, one that is more human-centric, more collaborative. We’re not becoming a fully remote company: our physical office in Zürich remains an essential part of creating interactions and shaping our team culture,” says Kessler.


Building business-critical products and services

As the company continues to develop its product and services for organisations looking to measure the occupancy and utilisation of their own real estate portfolios, it expects an even more pressing demand from workplace leaders and corporate real estate for its products and services. “During this time, leaders and managers need to measure and understand the changes and fluctuations that are taking place within their office buildings. We want to help them navigate through these challenges. We’re motivated, determined, and our journey feels more meaningful than ever before.”


About Locatee

Locatee is the leading workplace analytics solution that transforms data into space utilisation insight. Developed with a strong focus and a deep understanding of the corporate real estate challenges facing the modern world of work, Locatee empowers workplace leaders to make decisions about their business buildings with confidence.


Media contact

Gregory Wén
Locatee AG
+41 43 508 51 23

Stève Cattin
Locatee AG
+41 43 508 51 23

If 2020 is forcing you to pivot your real estate strategy, you’re definitely not alone. We are currently witnessing the world’s largest remote working experiment.

The mid-to-long-term impact of COVID-19 will lead to unexpected challenges in the world of corporate real estate as well as some important questions.

  • How can corporate real estate leaders bring their workforce back to offices safely?
  • How much office space will companies need in a post-pandemic world of work?
  • How can facilities managers monitor their workplace utilisation in a compliant way?

To help you navigate through these uncertain times, we’ve created the COVID-19 Corporate Real Estate Handbook.


Containing the insight, data, as well as many tips and tricks pertaining specifically to adapting to the challenges presented by remote work and social distancing, Locatee’s playbook makes sure you’re not left unprepared.

We are happy to announced that we have secured $4 million in Series A funding, secured from San Francisco based FYRFLY Venture Partners and Zurich based Tomahawk VCThis funding enables us to grow strategically, placing a high priority on bringing the right talent and expertise onboard in order to become the global leader in the smart building market.

Philipp Stauffer, Co-Founder and Managing Director at FYRFLY Venture Partners, states Locatee’s vision to transform how space is used will ultimately elevate the quality of life for employees and can also contribute significantly to sustainable development goals. A quantitative approach to space optimization and productivity holds both significant top- and bottom- line potential for large global organizations.”



The software solutions MeteoViva Climate and Locatee are being employed in the datacentre Zofingen of Post Real Estate Management and Services. In this first-time collaboration, Locatee data have been embedded in MeteoViva Climate.

About MeteoViva

MeteoViva Climate is the future of facility management: forward-thinking, self-learning, with over 3.5 million operating hours of experience in buildings worldwide. The model-based Smart Data solution achieves an optimised indoor climate while simultaneously significantly reducing operating and energy costs as well as carbon emissions.


To significantly reduce costs without risking quality losses but increasing employee satisfaction and productivity constitutes the pivotal challenge for the Facility Management of Post Real Estate Management and Services. By combining both solutions, the needs of employees can be addressed even more effectively.

How it works

  • The existing occupancy data compiled by Locatee are used by MeteoViva Climate in order to create detailed indoor climate forecasts
  • The data is imported via API
  • Daily and weekly profiles can be created based on historical data

Benefits for Corporate Real Estate and Facilities Management Teams

The use of Smart Data solutions allows for data-based decisions which facilitate the reduction of resource requirements and thus make it possible to actively save costs. Simultaneously, the reduction of carbon emissions and energy consumption contributes to the sustainability of the building. Employees benefit from an ideal indoor climate, which can be continuously adapted to current requirements, thus significantly increasing satisfaction and reducing the number of sick leaves. In addition, increased comfort has a positive impact on productivity.

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