Boris Johnson has “prophesised” a mass return of workers to city centres and office blocks, saying that there are “sound evolutionary reasons why mother nature does not like working from home”.
Johnson said – in a bizarre speech that referenced Pippa Pig World and saw the Prime Minister lose his place for 20 seconds – at the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) annual conference today that “young people need to be in the office to learn and compete and pick up social capital”.
It comes after figures from Remit Consulting in the Financial Times today showed that just 22 per cent of staff are working at the office full-time nationally.
Footfall numbers have increased in central London over the past six months, however they are only at around half of pre-pandemic levels.
Many City workers now come in three days a week – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Johnson said he did not think this would be a long-term trend.
“I know that there are some people that think working habits have been remade by the pandemic and that we will only be working on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in an acronym I wont’ repeat,” he said.
“I don’t want to be dogmatic about this, but I have my doubts and it’s not just that young people need to be in the office to learn and compete and pick up social capital. There are also sound evolutionary reasons why mother nature does not like working from home.
“I prophesise people will come back, they will come back to the office … and people also want choice and that’s why we must put in the gigabit broadband as we are.”
The Prime Minister used his speech today to announce new regulations that will see all home and business owners forced to install electric vehicle charging points outside new buildings.
Downing Street believes the policy will lead to 145,000 more electric vehicle charging points being installed every year.