Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), has warned that British staff must return to their workplaces as children get back to school. She said in a recent article for the Daily Mail:
"The UK’s offices are vital drivers of our economy, they support thousands of local firms, from dry cleaners to sandwich bars’.
She stated that if people did not return to work, cities would soon resemble ‘ghost towns’.
The warning came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged office workers to return to work back in July. However, a survey carried out by University College London found almost a third of younger workers intend to carrying on working remotely after the pandemic, despite the PM’s calls.
Another investigation from the BBC found that 55 of the top U.K. employers have no plans for their workers to return to offices full-time once the pandemic was over.
The indications are that, despite government and CBI calls for workers to return to office working, levels of commuting will fail to recover entirely, spelling disaster for many small leisure businesses that were established to cater for office workers in the City and elsewhere.