Jan 30, 2023
Apr 9, 2024

Workplace foot traffic in the UK up 57% in 2022

We’re diving into Envoy’s proprietary platform data to share insights to help workplace leaders in the UK drive key return to office decisions.
Envoy logoMadison Stein
Head of Brand and Content
Marketing Specialist
Workplace foot traffic in the UK up 57% in 2022

In 2022, employees in the UK made headlines for refusing to conform with return to office policies. Although the majority of Covid restrictions in the UK were lifted in January 2022, employees exhibited a “slow but sustained return to the workplace.”

While plenty of companies in the UK are still working through the details of their policies, we’re starting to see proof that, despite the headlines, those policies are actually paying off. Employees and employers alike are finding common ground on the benefits of both hybrid flexibility and onsite collaboration. Compared to the rest of the world, the UK experienced 55% higher year-over-year growth in foot traffic in 2022.

In this post, we’ll deep dive into the return to office trends in the UK throughout last year. We’re looking at Envoy’s proprietary platform data of over 400 companies in the UK to share insights that can help workplace leaders make important return to office decisions.

Britain is back: Workplace foot traffic in the UK grew 57% in 2022

At a glance, the numbers don’t lie: Britain is back to work. From 2021 to 2022, total workplace foot traffic in the UK grew by 57%. This is 55% higher growth than to the rest of the world, which saw 37% growth year over year.

But Envoy’s data on workplace traffic in the UK paints a more complex return to office story than that. The year started off hot with companies calling their employees back to the office with enticing incentives or strict policies. From the beginning to the end of January, foot traffic increased 126%. That initial growth held (mostly) steady through the end of May—with the exception of significant dips in traffic on holiday weeks. The weeks of Easter, bank holidays in May, and some severe weather weeks were the largest dips in employee foot traffic.By the summer, that trend reversed. Employees were enjoying their summer holidays, and thus, foot traffic dropped 241% from early June to late August. The fall rebound was notable. Foot traffic rose to record highs in early October and again in November, peaking at 184% growth compared to the start of the year. Predictably, the year ended with a significant holiday decline toward the end of December.

Enterprises are leading the return: Larger companies saw 44% higher growth than average

Let’s zoom into these notable moments of growth in foot traffic. For example, end-of-year growth can be attributed to enterprise companies with more than 250 employees.

Enterprise, mid-market (51-250 employees), and small business (<50 employees) sized companies saw similar growth patterns at the start of the year. The groups didn’t diverge until the summer, when employees at mid- and small-sized businesses took their holidays. Notably, from August through November, enterprises saw tremendous growth in workplace traffic. On average, enterprise companies saw 44% higher growth than their smaller counterparts.There could be a host of reasons why this is the case, but the timing suggests that the shifting power dynamics between employees and enterprise employers could be at play. Throughout early 2022, workers were in high demand and therefore enterprises catered to their employees. “Seemingly overnight, the mood dramatically changed," states Jack Kelly, senior contributor from Forbes—and this dramatic change occurred globally. “As inflation raged, wreaking havoc on the economy, along with other geopolitical and macro events, thousands of people were downsized, hiring freezes put in place and job offers rescinded.”

Hybrid work still reigns: 59% of workers came to the office 1-3 days per week

Throughout 2022, the debate was on: will office-first policies take over or will hybrid work still reign supreme? The data is in and hybrid work takes the cake—but not by much. We compared hybrid employees (those who went to the office 1-3 times per week) against office-first employees (those who went to the office 4-5 times per week) through each month of 2022.

On average, 59% of workers fell into the hybrid category. Among those hybrid workers, the majority (80%) fell into the 1-2 days bucket. This aligns with the most popular hybrid policies calling for two or fewer days onsite. Office-first employees saw a 1.5X jump from January to February, then held steady through the remainder of the year.


No matter the company size, or their office attendance policy, one thing is clear: the workplace is not going anywhere for UK companies. Workplace foot traffic is up 57% year over year, and this trend will only continue throughout 2023 as more and more workers and companies alike remember the true value of the workplace. As the benefits of collaboration, connections, and productivity in the workplace continue to grow, so too will foot traffic.

Want more workplace data? At Work: the 2023 workplace trends report is coming soon! In the meantime, check out our other At Work content to get the latest workplace usage trends.

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Madison SteinEnvoy logo
Madison Stein

Madison is a writer, story-teller, and problem-solver at Envoy, where she inspires workplace teams to make the workplace work better. When she's not thinking of clever puns in the office, you can find her on the beach with her dog, planning her next vacation, or exploring new restaurants in San Francisco.

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