Many of us got recently told that from now on it isn’t safe to come back and work from the office, therefor we were asked to create the office environment in our own home.

When restrictions loosen a little, we were asked to return to the office but after even a month I think most can agree that we are able to do exactly same job from comfort of our own home.

A survey from Morgan Stanley’s research unit “AlphaWise”, conducted in mid-July 2020, found that only 34% of UK’s “white-collar” workers had returned to work, at the same time city workers stats were showing only one in six. BBC report however showed that 50 of the biggest UK employers have no further plans to ask all staff to return to the office full time in the foreseeable future. Workplace anxiety could be a driving factor in all this. There was a “ManpowerGroup” surgery, which was publish couple of weeks ago but originally carried out back in June 2020, found that staff in the US as well as in UK were both less confident about returning to the work duties and more fearful of a second virus spoke compared to the ones based in Germany, France, Italy, Spain as well as Singapore or Mexico.

It is all creating a question, why shall we consider a return to office at all? Some staff members lived by themselves and found their 9-5 during complete lockdown was far too lonely, where others in the early stages of their career felt left with no guidance nor supervision. It must be said that for the most part it has been business as usual for many, some even found working at home to be more enjoyable, became very used to no particular dress code and therefor expressed reluctance to return into the office.

We must not forget the core principal of working remotely, if you actually work and keep with your schedule you will not only be more successful at the job you perform but your productivity will be much increased, you will have much better work-life balance as well as you don’t spend time on commuting on daily basis which will not only save time but also provide you with more happiness after all. Staying at home also helps to stop (or limit) the spread of the virus as long as you actually staying at home and limit your outdoor activities to your own garden or short walks if you do not have one.

So the question is coming – can you refuse to return?

No one likes to hear a “no” from fellow employees so instead of cutting it short and driving yourself to be in the bad books, try to highlight all the positive differences as well as savings for your boss. There is also a healthy concern, office might be perfectly fine and everyone can follow the government guidance but you never know who you will meet and how you may come to a virus while travelling to and from work. There is nothing better than having actual chat with your supervisor and explaining the concerns as well as consequences of getting the virus in the workplace, there is not only a danger of risking health or maybe even life of further employees, but also a possible limitations for business operation, if only one person will confront the virus, business might be shut for a period of time and this can have a massive impact on its future. The other important point is a benefit of working from home, as long as you have a plan and can prove how efficient you can be while working from home, I cannot possibly see your boss refusing this offer. Like days you started working, there was a promise in the form of your Curriculum Vitae and then the interview which you were trying to “sell” your best side, this was followed by your contract limited by the trial period, the similar scenario must be reproduced, you need a trial to show how it will all work, the biggest advantage is that now you have experience and know-how which combined with self discipline and skill of good organisation can lead you to achieving this goal.

If your boss will say no, what can you do, you can either listen and go back to work or perhaps face disciplinary action, which then you can challenge in court having all above backed up in writing (formal emails or letters), if you were exposed to virus at the work place, unfortunately for your principal, they would need to face consequences. Worth mentioning – if there is no middle ground to be achieved, you may just try to find a different job!

Were you in position to ask your boss to continue working from home? What was the reaction? Do let me know in the comments section below as I will be absolutely thrilled to hear from you!

All the best,


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