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Working from home will be the new norm, claim half of London firms 

Working from home will be the new norm once Covid has passed, claim half of London firms

Around half of London companies expect staff to work from home up to five days a week once Covid has passed.

Figures, from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), are the latest to fuel fears that businesses in city centres that rely on office workers could be left crippled by the switch to ‘hybrid’ weeks.

Transport groups will suffer, while shops and restaurants could see sales plummet as they miss out on lunchtime trade.

A new normal: Figures, from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry  show 46 per cent of firms think staff will work from home

Covid restrictions following the second wave have kept offices empty – and in the City of London there are even plans to turn workplaces into flats. 

LCCI chief executive Richard Burge said the finding that 46 per cent of firms think staff will work from home would ‘raise eyebrows’ but showed Covid would leave a ‘permanent legacy’ in London.

The organisation polled 520 companies about their post-pandemic plans. Only 10 per cent said they did not expect there to be any home working under normal circumstances. Smaller companies were more likely to consider frequent home working.

Burge said: ‘Seemingly many businesses have already made decisions regarding their premises and ways of working once restrictions are lifted. 

This isn’t just about the Government guidance, it’s about what business has judged best for the bottom-line or productivity.’

Some UK banks including HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds have not set dates for workers to return to the office this summer. 

But US investment banks JP Morgan and Goldman have said employees need to be in the office to do their jobs properly.

Serviced office providers such as Regus-owner IWG have said occupancy rates are lower than hoped. But they said there have been huge numbers of enquiries about booking spaces.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk