Brits are making a gradual return to the office, as around half of all UK working adults travelled to their place of work in the last two weeks, new data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed today.
The proportion of working adults who commuted to the office last week reached 49 per cent, and was 48 per cent the previous week, according to the ONS.
Commuter numbers have increased from 34 per cent in mid-February as the government gradually eased lockdown restrictions, although the “work from home if you can” guidance is still in place.
Hybrid working still remains popular amongst only a minority of workers, although the proportion has grown since mid-February. Around 15 per cent chose to work from a combination of home and the office in the last two weeks, compared with 10 per cent in February.
Boris Johnson is understood to be opposed to the level of working from home seen during the pandemic becoming permanent and is said to be in favour of encouraging people to return to offices as soon as possible.
But despite the Prime Minister’s alleged personal preference, the government is keen to boost flexible working and allow people to work from home should they wish to.
A government consultation on a change of legislation regarding flexible working is understood to be taking place this summer.
Crime and policing minister Kit Malthouse told Sky News: “We don’t have any intention to make it compulsory to return to the office.”
“This is a situation for employers and employees to discuss and negotiate themselves,” he added.
Speaking to City A.M., small business minister Paul Scully also suggested the government would pass the decision to individuals and companies and said “personal discretion is the key thing” when it comes to returning to the workplace.
“Whenever the work from home message ends, it will be down to what’s best for the business and the worker,” Scully added.