Rishi Sunak has renewed calls for young City workers to get back to the office now the government’s work from home order has been dropped.
The chancellor recalled how his career as a young investment banker was helped by making relationships in the office with older colleagues.
Speaking about a recent visit to Scotland where he met with young financial services workers, Sunak told LinkedIn News: “I was telling them the mentors that I found when I first started my job I still talk to and they have been helpful to me all through my career even after we have gone in different ways.
“I doubt I would have had those strong relationships if I was doing my summer internship or my first bit of my career over Teams and Zoom.
“And that’s why I think for young people in particular being able to physically be in an office is valuable.”
Sunak has been the most vocal government supporter of getting people back to the office and increasing footfall in city centres post-freedom day.
Number 10, meanwhile, has said on numerous occasions that it would leave employers and employees to decide whether or not to continue working remotely.
Recent figures from the Centre for Cities think tank show that footfall in central London in recent weeks is still only around 34 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
Many financial institutions have said they will implement a hybrid working model, allowing people to work from home at least a couple days a week from now on.
Permanently lower footfall in the City of London and Canary Wharf will seriously dent the prospects of many retail and hospitality businesses in these areas.
The City of London Corporation recently begun a concerted push to get people back into central London.
This goes alongside Sadiq Khan’s Welcome Back London campaign, which is encouraging people to get back on the Tube.