A recent survey by London First on leading businesses in London finds gradual head back to work as people and businesses tire working from home.
A recent survey by London First has found that whilst many people and businesses are keen to start gravitating towards cities, many are anxious and concerned about the transport systems and issues surrounding childcare.
Are people heading back to London offices?
Of the 100’s of business leaders surveyed last month by London First, almost 75% are claiming to have some form of presence back in a London office but at only 20% occupancy of the total headcount. Many businesses are implementing a working from home (WFH) and office rotation framework. This has been seen across SMEs to FTSE listed companies. Only 7% of interviewees have said that they still have no London staff presence and that everyone is still working remotely.
What are the barriers to staff returning to the workplace?
Over 95% of leaders that were interviewed believe that growing concerns over the transport system are amid the many barriers for people returning to work. On top of the transport and logistical barriers, over 68% mentioned childcare as being an issue for many working parents and guardians. On top of the aforementioned, many employers think that those who are set up, comfortable and enjoy working from home will always seek some level of flexibility moving forward.
So what are people doing with their office space?
Around 41% of people surveyed think that in the future they will need less working space (whilst remaining committed to a lease) and 42% think that they will retain the same amount of space moving forward.
So what’s the overriding sentiment?
Once all is said and done, there are barriers to people returning to work, some may never want to go back but there is an overriding theme of businesses and people wanting to get back to office. 70% of firms surveyed said they feel getting back to the office is critical for productivity whilst only 20% of firms thought this didn’t matter. A whopping 86% of businesses said that the “loss of in-person collaboration” has been a “big negative” of the huge switch to remote working.
A quarter of firms surveyed think it remote working will be permanent for some of their staff and 21% said it will be for all of them.
That said, many businesses just aren’t set up for remote working and some businesses really suit it.
London First’s chairman said that “business leaders are backing the capital and are gearing up to bring back those ready to return”.
London First is a business campaigning force set up by business leaders in London who all champion the city and are trying to drive positive change for businesses and visitors to London.
Visit https://www.londonfirst.co.uk/ to find out more about this fantastic organisation.