Over half of London office workers would be prepared to work from home less in order to help struggling businesses recover from the impact of the pandemic, according to new research, shared with City A.M. today.
In fact, over three quarters (76 per cent) of the capital’s office workers felt that it was important to protect Central London from further decline but over half (55 per cent) felt that hybrid working means businesses in city centres will suffer, according to the research commissioned by the South Westminster Business Alliance.
However, the easing of lockdown restrictions has failed to prompt a mass return to the city.
Nearly four in ten London office workers are currently using a hybrid model, splitting time between home and the office. When asked when they see themselves returning full-time, one in five said never.
When quizzed on why they had not returned full time, the most common answer was not wanting to commute every day (40 per cent) and 6 in 10 (63 per cent) of people said taking public transport still concerns them while the pandemic is ongoing, according to the survey.
The fear of crowded spaces and the pandemic means that commuters are opting for alternative modes of transport.
Transport for London’s Santander cycle hire scheme saw more than one million hires in September, making it its busiest month on record.
Restoring confidence in public transport is vital for getting people back to the city and supporting businesses, argued Ruth Duston, CEO of the South Westminster Business Alliance.
“While a flexible approach to the workplace seems set to stay, it’s clear from this research that Londoners care very deeply about the prosperity of this great city. What we need to do now is connect this sentiment to real life action,” she said.
We must re-double our efforts to tackles issues that may hinder the return, whether that be some of the negative aspects associated with the commute, poor public realm and safety concerns.Ruth Duston, CEO of the South Westminster Business Alliance
Duston said the reinstatement of the night tube is “something we have been lobbying hard on, and it’s great news that TfL has heard the calls for this vital service to return to boost confidence across London.”