We may not know exactly when we’ll be heading back to the office, but Australia’s professional workers have spoken: it’s not time yet.

A survey by LinkedIn found almost half of these workers do not want to return to the office, citing safety concerns.

Nearly a quarter said they would like to stay home until they feel “more safe”, while a similar number said they are “tentative” about returning to the office full-time and would only want to go in a few days a week.

IT professionals were likely to remain remote for now, LinkedIn found, with more than half of respondents (53%) expressing concerns about the commute to work.

Finance employees were also concerned about returning to work with 59% citing concern about others not taking safety guidelines seriously, and 32% worried about being in close proximity with co-workers.

COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on corporate workplaces as governments encourage people to work from home where they can, catapulting unprepared employers on a fast-track to remote working upgrades to enable a digital workforce.

Pessimism all around

With staff largely still working from home, Australia’s bosses have less confidence in their company’s ability to “fare well” in the next 6 months.

“Australia’s directors have shown steadily decreasing confidence in their business’ one year and short-term outlook,” LinkedIn said, adding confidence had decreased 16 points since May.

Employees, on the other hand, are now more pessimistic about their short-term prospects, especially in regards to job security and financial strain.

LinkedIn’s The Workforce Confidence Index is a fortnightly report of the state of the Australian workforce.