Get workers back to our city centres, PM urged 


Get workers back in the office to save struggling town and city centres, PM urged

Boris Johnson has come under pressure to get workers back to the office and save struggling town and city centres.

The Prime Minister this week outlined his plan to lift lockdown in four stages between early March and late June.

But while the blueprint includes the reopening of shops and hairdressers in April – along with pubs and restaurants serving outdoors – advice to work from home will last until at least June 21.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week outlined his plan to lift lockdown in four stages between early March and late June

Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week outlined his plan to lift lockdown in four stages between early March and late June

Alistair Elliott, senior partner and group chairman at property agent Knight Frank, said: ‘It is excellent news that lockdown is beginning to ease, however, we now cannot waste any time in rescuing our town and city centres.

‘Despite a number of positive announcements, it remains very disappointing that the Government has yet to fix a date for when people will be encouraged back to the workplace. 

‘Many of the businesses which the Prime Minister has announced can reopen will require the return of commuters to make this viable.

‘It is also particularly pertinent given that mental health problems appear to be growing and mass working from home is an ongoing struggle for businesses. Industry now needs to be given clear guidance on how employers can re-engage their workforce.’

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Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show 44 per cent of workers travelled to work at last once in the week to February 14. 

Some 37 per cent worked exclusively from home, the highest proportion since June.

Brian Bickell, chief executive of Shaftesbury, which owns shops, offices, restaurants and flats in London’s West End, said: ‘City centres desperately need the return of office workers to get their economies working again and many people have had enough of working from home.’



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