Tuesday 29 June 2021 7:02 am

800,000 London jobs could be done elsewhere post-Covid

Around two out of five people living and working in inner London could continue their roles remotely after the pandemic, according to new research.

London risks losing more than 835,000 jobs as the pandemic sparks a permanent shift to more flexible working patterns, and city dwellers are able to move out of the capital to other locations across the UK or
even abroad.

An analysis of ONS statistics by consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) found that 41 per cent of people living in London’s 14 inner boroughs could now do their jobs at a distance, i.e. not necessarily
at their main office.

Those who work in customer service, administration, managerial roles and many civil service roles were most likely to relocate, the research found.

Roles in healthcare, education and skilled trades are unlikely to be relocated from London, due to the difficulty in performing these roles from home.

If significant amounts of people move out of the centre of the capital, spending would shift from businesses in inner London to local businesses in other locations in the UK – and crucially, the demand for housing in inner London may reduce, the report said.

This in turn could have a knock-on effect on the London hospitality industry, as well as having an impact on transport spending, as fewer people commute in to offices in the city.

Pandemic-sparked shifts in working patterns could inadvertently support Boris Johnson’s so-called “Levelling-Up Agenda”, the report said, as high paid workers move from central London to other regions around the UK.

A permanent shift to home working could “prompt a rethink of the role of central London” in the longer term, said Andrew Mawson, managing director of AWA.

“Employers will wonder whether they need as much expensive inner London office space, and workers will question whether they need to spend time and money commuting if they don’t need to,” Mawson added.

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