More than half of London office workers are expecting to spend at least three days a week at their desks from September as employers gear up for the “great return” after the school holidays, according to a new poll.
However, bosses say it is not yet clear what proportion of central London’s vast work force will abandon working from home, particularly as many younger workers will still not have been fully vaccinated.
A survey by recruitment firm Michael Page found that 25 per cent of London workers expected to be in the office five days a week and 29 per cent three days or more. A quarter said they would be working from home at least three days a week and seven per cent said they would operate remotely for the full week.
Asked which three days they would most like to come into the office, the most popular choice was Wednesday with 47 per cent, then Tuesday (43 per cent), Thursday (28 per cent), Monday (22 per cent) and Friday (18 per cent).
Bosses say they are increasingly confident that the numbers of staff making an appearance will rise dramatically in September, but accept that a level of hybrid working is here to stay.
David Lockyer, British Land Head of Campuses who works at the Broadgate office development near Liverpool Street, said he expected the average number of days a week spent in the office to fall from 4.1 pre-pandemic to about 3.5.
He added: “I feel very confident about London’s future and its ability to come back from this.”
Marcus Geddes, property company Landsec’s managing director for London, said: “Our recent poll of London office workers showed that 80 per cent would feel comfortable returning to the office by the end of September.”
Linda Woolley, managing partner of law firm Kingsley Napley, said: “The centre of gravity of Kingsley Napley will continue to be the office but we trust our people to work productively in the best way that suits them, their clients and their team.
“We are already seeing people back and expect greater numbers after the holiday period and when more second vaccines have taken effect.”