Just 18% of workers are happier than they were before the pandemic, according to research from LifeSearch.
The LifeSearch Health, Wealth and Happiness Study also asked British workers about their ideal working set up and found less than half (42%) were happy with their current working set-up.
The Q2 Index update was compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) for LifeSearch in July. Opinium Research also quizzed 2,000 UK adults during the same month.
Hybrid working most popular
The most popular work option among respondents was a hybrid approach, with almost half (44%) saying they would prefer to have at least some time in the workplace and some time from home.
This rose to 65% among those aged 18-24 years and saw progressively falling popularity with increasing age.
This was emphasised by more than a fifth of young workers (21%) and 12% of all workers saying that if their employer does not offer the working set-up they want and need, they would consider seeking another role.
Of those who preferred a hybrid set-up, the most popular option was a 50/50 split (44%), followed by three-quarters of their time in the workplace and a quarter at home (29%) and lastly, three-quarters of time at home and a quarter in the workplace (27%).
Just over a third of all Brits (36%) would prefer to be full-time in the workplace, rising in popularity with age, as 46% of over 55s said they prefered this set-up, compared to just 24% of those aged 18-24.
However, just 15% of all British workers said they would like to be working full-time from home, again rising in popularity with age.
Employee reluctance to return to workplace
Almost one in 10 British workers (9%) claimed their employer wants them back in the workplace more but they don’t want to go, rising to 13% of those aged 25-to-39, while only 15% say they have been asked by their employer to give their views on how they want to work.
Just one in five (19%) felt their employer had offered clarity on what is expected of them in terms of how they need to work.
Emma Walker, chief marketing officer at LifeSearch said: “There has been a bit of an assumption that most people have liked being able to work from home at least some of the time, and our research backs that up.
“However, it is clear that working from home permanently is not most people’s idea of a good working set-up, especially not for younger adults, quite likely to do with the fact that two in five under 35s don’t have either a suitable home office or a quiet place to work.
“The transition back to the office in a post-pandemic world is going to be tough, and most workers don’t feel their employers are being clear enough about what is expected, or that they have had enough of an input into how they want to work.
“It is therefore really important that employers are open and honest with their workers about what they expect of them, but also that they are listening to their concerns and offering the help, support and flexibility they need as we move into this next stage of the Covid-19 recovery.”