Return to the Office - Client Views

We asked eleven of our clients when they planned to start bringing their workforce back to the office.  Here’s what they told us.

Most clients talked about a very gradual and phased return to the office. The earliest month mentioned was July, with three UK based respondents expecting a small proportion of their workforce to start coming back from this time. Six UK, Germany and US based clients cited a phased return from September and two UK based companies predicted a return at the end of this year or even into 2021.  

Some, however, spoke about a permanent change to numbers required to be in the office.


“[we did] employee consultations in June and people who expressed interest in returning will be invited to return in July (prob 10%). Phased return in August possible. Will have more remote working going forward."

Senior Management (Sales), UK

"Phase one return for around 10% of workforce, on 6th July, will review once they have returned. No obligation to return."

Human Resources, UK



"Our soft re-open will be September 1st. Of course, this may change based on environment."

Human Resources, US

  "For Frankfurt office, no-one is going back until Sep. When they do, it will be optional. Taking a very cautious approach as there are fears in Germany that there could be a second wave. Everyone working well at home."

Senior Manager, Germany

"No indication whatsoever, the earliest September but it can change any day."

Senior Manager, UK

"Lots of logistical hurdles -plexiglass ... daily waivers...etc.. The firm is hoping to start bringing people back in September but it will be in shifts - people will only be working out of the office a few days a week for the remainder of 2020."

Senior Manager, US

 "It seems like things will continue the way they are through August. The plan is to start bringing people back gradually after labor day but I don't know if we'll ever be back at 100% capacity."

Senior Manager, US


Several we spoke to predicted that there will be a permanent change to the number of their employees who will work from home in future, as concerns around working from home negatively impacting productivity, have proven unfounded.


“Management are discussing that non-client facing staff (e.g. engineers, development teams) will permanently work from home."

Senior Manager, Germany

"Our performance evaluation metrics have actually shown that we're operating at 120% efficiency since the work from home shift. In many ways, working from home has made it easier to evaluate performance and has made employees more visible. It's easy to look at the people who get in to the office at 7:30 am every day and assume they're working hard, but for all we know they could be setting their fantasy football line-ups for half the day. Working from home has actually made it more difficult for our employees to get away with doing the minimum, and based on internal discussions, it seems like the company will be to reducing its real-estate footprint by up to 30% as a result."

Senior Manager, US

"I hope we don't go back to that way of working - in many ways I think working from home has increased productivity and people end up working more hours than they worked originally because they don't have to commute."

Senior Manager, US




get in touch with our local office
EC1  Partners London

2nd Floor, Warwick House
64-65 Cowcross Street

Tel: +44 (0) 207 553 9370Email:
EC1 Partners new york

60 Broad Street
25th Floor, Suite 2511
New York
NY 10004

Tel:  +1 929 245 0686Email:
EC1 Partners Singapore

6 Shenton Way, OUE Downtown 2
068809, Licence No - 16S7907

Tel: (+65) 3158 4302Email:
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