A BRITISH think tank, the Centre for Cities, said the five-day office week could become the norm again within two years.
A director of policy and research at the centre stated this in a radio programme monitored today.
According to him, a blend of home and office work is expected to be popular while the UK recovers from the pandemic, though some analysts anticipate a shift back to pre-COVID working patterns for many.
“I expect we will see three or four days a week in the office as the UK recovers. Over the longer term, I’m quite hopeful that we will see people return five days a week. The reason for that is, one of the benefits of being in the office is having interactions with other people, coming up with new ideas and sharing information.”
He said people could not do this by scheduling a three o’clock meeting on a Tuesday – it had to happen randomly. If you’re in the office on a Monday but someone else is in the office on a Wednesday, then you’re starting to miss out. Or, if your colleague is in the office and having a meeting with your boss and you’re not there, all of a sudden that changes the dynamic again,” he said.
Currently, people who can work from home are still advised to do so. But that is likely to change if the government ends all social distancing restrictions on June 21.
Office for National Statistics data published in May revealed most people did not work from home in 2020, however, the proportion of workers who did more than doubled during the pandemic. That hit the office property market while prompting lots of discussion about the future of the workplace.