New hybrid offices will be set up across the UK for Whitehall civil servants to work at as a part of a push for more flexible working arrangements.
The civil service struck a deal with serviced offices firm IWG to set up offices in 10 locations across the UK.
The deal will allow civil servants in some departments, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, to work out of these 10 co-working spaces when not in London, according to the Telegraph.
It comes as the government has also announced over the past year that thousands of Whitehall jobs will be moved up north as a part of Boris Johnson’s “levelling up” agenda.
This includes a new Treasury campus in Darlington and a national infrastructure bank in Leeds.
IWG chief executive Mark Dixon told the Telegraph: “We’ve signed up more companies in the last six weeks [to] two months than we’ve signed up in our entire history, it’s a big change to hybrid working.
“London’s going to have to rethink its whole raison d’etre.
“It’s still going to be very important, but it’s a very expensive place to work for individuals in their time and their commute.”
However, senior government figures have still been bullish about the prospect of people going back to the office in big numbers.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak also warned recently that workers should be allowed to return to offices or they may “vote with their feet” and leave the firm for an employer that encourages face-to-face working.
“You can’t beat the spontaneity, the team building, the culture that you create in a firm or an organisation from people actually spending physical time together,” he said.
City A.M. understands that the government will begin a campaign either next month or in June to get people back to central London and back to their offices.