Boris Johnson's clear call to the country's workforce to return to offices to save the UK economy is being treated with caution by numerous employers and workers, MailOnline said.
The prime minister urged companies operating from afar to "get back to work" to breathe life into the low-cost main street and boost recovery.
He and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are appalled by the impact empty offices have on shops and restaurants in the city center – and fear that widespread homework will affect Britain's productivity.
Mr. Johnson, who was wearing a mask in public for the first time yesterday, said: "It is very important that people work again when they can now."
However, employers who have been used to banning corona viruses for months are hesitant, saying that some of their employees do not want to return while the ever-changing policies create confusion.
Companies have redesigned their way of working to get home – while saving a fortune on high overheads like rent and bills.
Instead of welcoming a rush back to the office, employers who are concerned with the Prime Minister's announcement have told MailOnline that they will be careful.
While the government is beating the drum so people can get back to work:
- Healthcare professionals swung their weight behind the government's move to make facial covering compulsory in stores;
- Ministers were prepared for another wave of Covid-19 in the winter as government scientists have "strong evidence" that the virus will survive ten times longer in the cold.
- The drinkers came to the bars on the first Friday evening in months, while the nation continued to withdraw from the ban.
- The R rate may be above one in the southwest as SAGE found the Midlands is the only region where it is definitely below.
The prime minister (picture yesterday) urged companies operating from afar to "get back to work" in order to breathe life back into the poor main street and to stimulate recovery
The government is said to be appalled by the impact empty offices have on shops and restaurants in the city center – and fears that widespread homework will affect UK productivity (Oxford Street pictured)
Health professionals are withdrawing to make face masks mandatory in stores
Health experts have supported steps to make face masks mandatory in shops and pubs in the UK after Boris Johnson said a "stricter" approach is needed in England – but critics have called for "clear" guidelines after weeks of advice.
The government is considering following Scotland's lead by making it mandatory in stores, as experts say interiors are "much more dangerous" for airborne transmission.
This morning, Trish Greenhalgh, a professor of primary care at Oxford University, told BBC Radio 4's Today Program: “There is ample evidence of laypersons using face coverings in crowded locations to help transmit the Covid-19 virus prevent. & # 39;
She said, “When I go to a store, I wear face covering without a doubt.
& # 39; The reason for this is that interiors are much more dangerous in what we call air transmission.
"If someone coughs or speaks loudly and the virus gets into the air and stays in this shop, in this closed space, interiors are much more dangerous."
Lowri Tan, managing director of the baby food brand Little Tummy, which operated from an office in Soho before the pandemic, said the young company would not return.
She acknowledged the benefits of comradeship in the office and said the small team did well during the crisis.
She told MailOnline: “The driving factor is definitely money. As a small company with no fixed overheads and expenses, it is not a wise use of company resources if we know that we can work efficiently at home. & # 39;
Ian Girling, general manager of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce, said Ms. Tan's mindset was in step with companies across the country.
He said: “As a result of the pandemic, companies have to think about all future work arrangements, and this could be a challenge for companies that juggle the need to have office workers or work from home.
"There is no doubt that remote working has worked very well for some companies, and some companies have the opportunity to save money in the future."
He added: "Companies can go back to working before Covid, but the bigger question is," Do they want that? "
Richard Lim, managing director of Retail Economics, said this is a "critical" factor for companies considering whether to return to the office.
He said the bosses would consider whether the alleged productivity boost outweighed the savings many made during the pandemic.
The expert told MailOnline: "This is an absolutely critical point – whether the demand is sufficient to make the reopening economically viable enough. And that's a really hard question to answer, and many just don't know it. & # 39;
An employee of a company in central London with over 200 employees informed MailOnline that he had been informed last week that his staff would not be returning to the office for the foreseeable future.
On condition of anonymity, the source said, "The main concern is that we don't have to be back. So why hurry?"
They said the company would wait to see how other companies would get back to work before giving the green light to their own employees.
Mr. Lim said the crisis has given some companies a complete rethink as part of their team will continue to work remotely so they can downsize and save money.
Mr. Lim explained the mindset of such companies as follows: “We probably don't need as much space as we do. Out of necessity, we managed to focus our work on something that is much more digital and given the fact that rents are actually so expensive when we have people who come an average of two and a half days a week and people who are two and a half days a week Working week from home, we don't need any space and that will create significant savings for many companies. & # 39;
Mr. Johnson was masked during a visit to his constituency yesterday as the government is expected to ask people to wear facial masks in shops
Richard Lim, Managing Director of Retail Economics (left), told Mail Online that a "critical" consideration for companies dealing with the question of whether to return to the office is whether it is worth it. Lowri Tan, (right) managing director of the baby food brand Little Tummy, which operated from an office in Soho before the pandemic, said the young company would not return
Free-flowing traffic makes breathing easier: air pollution in London is 30% of the pre-lockdown level
Air pollution is lower than expected in British cities, although the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions has led to a return to almost normal traffic levels, as new research shows.
Analysis by the University of York at more than 100 roadside locations across the country showed that nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels were 30 percent below normal on July 1, despite the lifting of many blocking rules.
At the height of the crisis, nationwide NO2 levels were 56 percent lower than normal, the study said.
Shifted paths and homework are cited as factors in reducing traffic congestion that may contribute to air pollution.
Similarly, TomTom's traffic data at 5 p.m. yesterday showed that congestion was 21 percent below the 2019 average.
The week's average congestion was also found to be 25 percent compared to 38 percent in late February and early March before the blocking conditions were imposed.
Although the prime minister is trying to persuade people to go back to work, he stressed that this must be done safely so as not to trigger a second rush of the virus.
But Mr. Girling accused him of "mixed messaging" and said to MailOnline: "The Prime Minister's comments were again extremely confusing for companies and employees.
& # 39; The mixed messages are not helpful when companies do their utmost to adapt and survive in incredibly difficult circumstances.
"It is clear that some employees will be interested in coming back to the office while remote working has worked very well for others."
He added: “Social distancing could be a real challenge for some jobs when everyone returns to the office now, and even more when the vacation ends.
& # 39; It is important that companies conduct risk assessments and take measures to ensure employee safety, if possible when they return to the office.
"This obviously has an impact on costs, but there are some inexpensive solutions when companies look around, even though companies have been very little informed about taking action."
Mr. Lim believes that employees' willingness to go back to work will vary depending on their daily commuting.
The expert told MailOnline: "It is on a case-by-case basis, I think there is a real regional difference in corporate strategies to get people back to work and get people back to work."
“London, public transport, on the tube is a very different situation than by car.
"Many people have different opinions about the risk of the virus and how willing they are to face the potential risk of getting it."
However, since many offices were mothballed during the pandemic, especially smaller ones, many companies will not have had time to renovate with social distancing measures.
An employer, Dr. Rakish Rana, general manager of The Clear Coach in London, said that returning to work next week "could only be feasible if companies took Covid security measures."
He added: “Sitting hot now may not be an option to limit workplace exposure, so only desks that are labeled.
"Traveling to offices can or can be a burden on the public transport system if it is exposed to further exposure."
Mr. Lim, an employer himself, said: “In some parts of my office I have space between the desks, but in most cases I have made sure that people come in on changing days so that there is a natural space of two meters and we have I just have cleaners who come every day. & # 39;
Edwin Morgan, Policy Director at the Institute of Directors, which represents many employers, said: “There is a real mix between people who want to return and people who want to stay.
& # 39; Some directors will be interested in reuniting their teams, but will be wary of the health and safety implications, and we must remember that the current guidelines continue to encourage homeworking wherever this is possible.
"A significant proportion of our members state that they want to do more remote work in the long term."
The vacuum of city officials kills many shops on the main street that rely on feet through the door to make a profit.
Pret a Manger was forced to cut staggering employees in the wake of the crisis, as were other retailers.
In office centers like Canary Wharf, where many large banks are headquartered, the surrounding businesses will depend on workers coming back, Lim said.
Ministers will also be aware of the presence of Covid-19, which is waning but has not been wiped out in the community.
The government is expected to instruct the British to wear masks in shops after months of doubt about their effectiveness.
Empty offices are killing our city centers, warns Boris Johnson: PM orders British workers to return to their desks to save the economy as homework affects the nation's finances
By Henry Martin for MailOnline
Eerie images of usually bustling hotspots show how hard the coronavirus crisis hit Britain.
As Boris Johnson prepares to tell office workers to return to their desks next week to save the country's economy, the images show that although Britain has been banned, we are still far from "normal." “Are removed.
West End Aldwych, London's Victoria Station and Leadenhall Market – places that are usually full of people on a typical day – are deserted amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The images recall that Britain's problems may not be over yet, although we seem to have the first wave of the virus behind us as we face the consequences of a dry economy.
Drop the curtain: Like all of London's world-famous theaters, the Aldwych in the West End has grown from an excited street crowd to a blockbuster hit
Nowhere to go quickly: London's Victoria Station can be a swarm of commuters at best – but even when the blockade is relaxed, many of them seem to be careful about putting on face masks to use public transport again
Bad for business: Leadenhall Market in the City of London is usually crowded with financial workers doing business over lunch, but the reopened New Moon Pub seems to be having trouble attracting customers
Practically deserted: All year round, the south bank of the Thames next to Tower Bridge and City Hall should be full of vacationers taking photos of the famous sights, but Covid has reduced the tide to a trickle
No longer a magnet for tourists: Covent Garden in central London is usually full of buyers who check the goods of the stand owners. However, as the picture on the right shows, this is far from the case
Lots of space in the shops: Bicester Village in Oxfordshire is a mecca for bargain hunters. The high-end retail stores offer discounted prices. But the cash registers will hardly ring if the customer numbers remain as they are now
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