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To return to the office, or not to return to the office (…as much) that is the question….

Many who haven’t had much experience of working from home (‘WFH’) or the shed (‘WFS’) for prolonged periods will have been forced into that situation over the last number of months and adapted accordingly.  

The attached BBC article picks up that when lockdown started in March, workers across the UK packed up their office equipment and set up work stations in their own homes.  Bedrooms, kitchen counter-tops and dining tables became the new way of working for millions of people.

According to the ONS, 30% of adults in the UK were exclusively working from home at the start of July.

Now in a new daily regime, whether that’s childcare related, incorporating new health and fitness, shopping habits, an interesting question is whether a large commercial / corporate business can encourage people back to metropolitan areas. 

In the time it takes to commute every morning and every evening, you can be so much more productive by logging on from home (with less of the stress). That said, the importance of face time with colleagues, in particular more inexperienced team members, isn’t to be over-looked, as this can really assist their personal development. 

I sense a more balanced outcome between office and home may become the norm (3 or 4 days a week on average in the office). Research from Eskenzi suggests that 91% of the UK’s office workers would like to work from home at least part of the time.  This will inevitably impact the revenue of the rail operators and TFL, who for so long have had a inelastic pricing structure, with commuters (non season ticket) benefiting from the savings. What happens to those new carriages?

And what of the effects on commercial property, the small businesses that support the office workers.  A walk through London now shows it is a shadow of its former buzzy self.

Whatever the outcome on home working, just remember, if you’re considering using your mobile (Face ID) to pay at a train barrier on a contactless basis, you will have to remove your mask, sunglasses (if applicable), other paraphernalia in order to make the payment and contend with the queue of people waiting behind you. Might be better sticking with your contactless card! 

now it’s time to return to those communal workplaces, research from Eskenzi suggests that 91% of the UK’s office workers would like to work from home at least part of the time.

By Chris Roberts on 31/07/2020