Staff work in central London offices for 2.3 days a week, study finds

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Office workers in central London are spending on average 2.3 days a week in the workplace, according to a report that warns against a wholesale switch to working from home.The thinktank Centre for Cities carried out polling of office workers in the capital and found they were spending 59% of the time in their workplace compared with pre-Covid levels.The study showed the most common working pattern was two days a week, accounting for 31% of respondents.

Almost half of workers were in the office more often than that, however – three, four or five days a week.The research also found three-quarters of employers had set a minimum number of days that staff have to be in the office.But the report, entitled Office Politics: London and the Rise of Home Working, warns that, despite the upfront benefits for staff in terms of better work-life-balance and less commuting, there may be longer-term costs for the capital in terms of lost productivity.“High-skilled activity being clustered within the centre of big cities is important.

There’s a productivity benefit to that happening,” said the report’s lead author, Paul Swinney.He pointed to firms’ ability to hire staff from a local pool of high-skilled labour, as well as the benefits within companies of the creativity that comes with face-to-face interaction, and the on-the-job learning that takes place between colleagues.“The evidence is unclear as to whether a two-day week or a three-day week is adequate to harness those benefits – but we should be alive to the fact that there may be a productivity hit from this sort of thing, rather than blithely assuming that all is fine because we’re focused on the short term rather than the long term,” he said.Younger workers are more likely to

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