There are no plans for millions of public and private sector workers to return to the office.
A survey of 50 large employers by the BBC found none of them had plans to return all staff to the office full-time in the near future.
Twenty firms have reopened their offices for staff unable to work from home, however, 24 businesses said they had no plans in place to return staff to the office.
The BBC said one of the main reasons large employers gave for not returning to the office was the difficulty accommodating large numbers of staff while social distancing regulations were still in place.
A majority of UK civil servants are also expected to continue working from home until the end of the year at least, the Financial Times reported.
“In most [government] departments the numbers [of civil servants returning to the office] are steadily going up but it’s not going to be huge numbers, it’s not going to be a majority [by the end of the year], we’ll probably get to 30 or 40 per cent over time,” Dave Penman, head of the FDA union which represents senior civil servants told the FT.
“Politically [ministers] have realised that they have missed the boat on this when you’ve got a series of local interventions because of rising infection rates . . . trying to force civil servants to go in is not going to be helpful.”
Yesterday Magic Circle law firm Linklaters said its lawyers could spend up to half their time out of the office on a permanent basis from now on.
Linklaters staff can work in the office at present, but the firm has not yet revealed its plans for large numbers of staff to return to the office.
The senior partner of PwC Kevin Ellis UK said he was keen for the firm’s staff to return to the office.
“We’ve been led by our people and the overriding message is that just because you can work from home doesn’t mean you should.”
Ellis anticipates up to half of the firm’s staff will use the office in some capacity by September.
Earlier this month fund manager Schroders said it will allow thousands of its employees to continue working from home even after the pandemic.
Schroders declared a “new approach to flexible working”, allowing workers to choose when they want to be in the office.
Before the outbreak of coronavirus, staff had to be in the office at least four days a week. There will now be reportedly no expectations on how often employees will need to be at their desk, with staff reportedly free to agree working patterns with their respective managers.
The reluctance of private and public sector employees and employers to return to the office leaves city centre businesses that depend on office workers in an uncertain position.