Up to three in four civil servants STILL working from home despite Rishi saying ‘Get back to the office’


UP TO three in four civil servants are still working from home despite Rishi Sunak urging young workers to get back to their desks, a minister admitted today.

After finally lifting the work from home order last month – Downing Street still won’t tell workers go back to offices.

Civil servants should lead by example and get back to the office, a minister said today

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Civil servants should lead by example and get back to the office, a minister said todayCredit: Alamy

But Education minister Gillian Keegan said the time had come to lead from example, adding: “it’s safe to go back… I think more and more people will [return soon].”

As urban day time economies struggle to recover, she confessed her own department was still a ghost ship with only a fifth of mandarins putting away zoom and turning up to work.

Speaking to Times Radio today she shockingly revealed that in her own Department for Education, “probably 20 to 25 per cent” are back in the offices but admitted “different people are coming on different days”.

Ms Keegan reiterated words from Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday, who hailed the benefits of getting back for young workers.

He said yesterday he doubted he would have done as well in his career if he’d started his working life remotely.

Speaking to LinkedIn News he said: “I doubt I would have had those strong relationships if I was doing my summer internship or my first bit of my career over Teams and Zoom.”

“That’s why I think for young people in particular, being able to physically be in an office is valuable.”

I doubt I would have had those strong relationships if I was if I was doing my internship or my first bit of my career over Teams and Zoom.

Rishi Sunak Chancellor Of The Exchequer

And Ms Keegan added: “For young people that is actually quite important to build that social capital and to learn from others, to be part of that working environment in the flesh as opposed to your bedroom.”

But she admitted that “flexible working will be part of our future” post-pandemic, adding: “we’re not telling businesses what to do”.

The Government has shifted its work from home messaging throughout the last year.

It urged Brits to get back to offices after the first wave of the pandemic before switching back again as the second wave took hold.

Rishi said: “We’ve kind of stopped saying that people should actively work from home and have now left it up to businesses to figure out the right approach.

“In terms of a return to work… in keeping with everything else that we are doing it’s been a gradual return back to the offices.”

Ministers are worried that city and town centres could be damaged beyond repair, with thousands of jobs lost, if people don’t go back to working in offices.

Most firms have said they will have a flexible approach to returning to the office, with employees set to do part of the week at home and part at their desks.

Rishi Sunak said yesterday there were benefits to getting back to the office

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Rishi Sunak said yesterday there were benefits to getting back to the officeCredit: Simon Walker HM Treasury

July 19 saw the relaxation of Covid restrictions and the work from home order, which has been in place for 15 months, was finally lifted in England.

But Scotland has told workers to stay at home until at least August 9, with Nicola Sturgeon due to give another update today.

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