The end of London offices? More than a THIRD of employees in the capital now WFH with 1.4m fewer in workplaces (including lost commuters) after Covid – as Scotland sees largest increase in homeworking
- London had highest percentage of homeworkers between January and March
- ONS figures also reveal the sizeable fall in commuters across the UK after Covid
- There are calculated to be 1.4million fewer people in London workplaces
More than one-third (37 per cent) of Londoners were working from home this year as new figures laid bare the impact of Covid on office attendance.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the capital had the highest percentage of homeworkers between January and March.
The 1.9million who were working from home in London during that period compared to 1.6million in the South East (36.9 per cent) and 903,000 in the East of England (31.1 per cent).
The regions with the lowest percentage of homeworkers were Northern Ireland (16.4 per cent, 137,000), the North East (22.4 per cent, 262,000) and Yorkshire and The Humber (26.2 per cent, 668,000).
The ONS figures also revealed the sizeable fall in commuters across the UK following the Covid pandemic.
When compared to October to December 2019, the period between January and March this year saw 629,000 less people (down 26.1 per cent) commute into a different region for work.
The largest decrease was in London, with 367,00 less commuters to the capital (a 36.8 per cent fall).
The South East saw a 29.1 per cent fall (down 117,000) and the East Midlands witnessed a 21.2 per cent fall (down 32,000).
The number of homeworkers increased by more than 50 per cent in all UK regions between October to December 2019 and January to March this year
The ONS calculated there were 1.4million less people in London workplaces after Covid (down 30.1 per cent)
The new figures laid bare the impact of Covid on office attendance across the UK
On 19 January this year, Boris Johnson lifted the guidance for people to work from home as the Prime Minster removed the ‘Plan B’ measures put in place due to the Omicron wave of infections.
Scotland also lifted the work from home guidance at this time, although Northern Ireland did not remove advice to work from home where possible until June, and Wales has introduced a strategy to actively encourage remote working.
The total impact of the rise in home-working and loss of commuters between 2019 and 2022 was shown by the ONS calculating there were 1.4million fewer people in London workplaces after Covid (down 30.1 per cent).
There were 775,000 less people in workplaces in the South East (down 775,000) and 505,000 less in Scotland (down 21.2 per cent), when the number of lost commuters was combined with the drop in non-homeworkers.
Overall, when October to December 2019 was compared to January to March this year, homeworking in the UK had more than doubled and increased by 5.2million workers (108.8 per cent).
At the end of 2019 there were 4.7million homeworkers in the UK (14.5 per cent) with that increasing to 9.9million (30.6 per cent) at the beginning of this year.
The number of homeworkers increased by more than 50 per cent in all UK regions.
The analysis also revealed the sizeable fall in commuters across the UK following the Covid pandemic
The ONS figures also revealed the rise in flexible working across the UK
Scotland saw the largest percentage increase in homeworking (203.5 per cent, up by 544,000 people) and Northern Ireland the smallest percentage increase (56.4 per cent, up 49,000).
The ONS figures also revealed the rise in flexible working across the UK.
Between January to March, 14.3 per cent of people (2.8million) who did not mainly work from home said they worked from home at least one day a week.
This figure was highest in London (24.3 per cent, 627,000 people) and lowest in the East Midlands (9.1 per cent, 126,000 people).
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