When will offices reopen?

UPDATE 23RD FEBRUARY 2021

From March 29th the Government’s “stay at home” message is removed. However, May is being sighted as a sensible time to reopen an office – with the social contact guidance removed on the 21st June. Many businesses are moving slowly, waiting employee confidence.

The general feeling from speaking to businesses owners is that their staff will feel happy to return to offices around May time. June has been signalled as when all social contact limits are removed – we expect many offices to reopen fully around these dates

Jonathan Ratcliffe, Offices.co.uk

UPDATED 29TH JANUARY 2021

As things currently stand, we don’t know for sure when the latest lockdown in England is going to end. While the lockdown is in effect, workers are expected to work from home wherever possible, and businesses have a legal obligation to facilitate this.

Unfortunately, many businesses continue to play fast and loose with the rules; there are numerous anecdotal reports of businesses still requiring non-essential personnel to come in and work, even though workers say they can do their jobs just as well from home. This is perhaps unsurprising given that one of the employers still requiring workers to come in needlessly is the civil service.

The British government has said they will review the current lockdown restrictions in mid-February and make a decision then as to whether restrictions will be eased or not. Until then, the majority of offices should be staying shut to all but the most essential staff. Where offices do have to open, they need to maintain covid safe environments:

– Provide handwashing stations and bottles of hand sanitiser so employees can easily wash their hands.
– Maintain social distancing and place clear social distancing markers on the floor 2-metres apart from one another.
– Erect barriers between employees who need to sit next to or near one another for extended periods of time.
– Encourage everyone to wear face masks indoors to limit the spread of covid.

The earliest that offices are likely to reopen is March, but this is looking increasingly unlikely as case numbers continue to rise.

When can offices reopen?

Offices will not be able to reopen until government guidance changes.

While covid is still running rampant throughout the UK, offices will have to remain shut. If offices hope to reopen anytime soon, they need to do their bit to limit the spread and reduce case numbers by limiting the number of staff present.

When will offices go back to work?

Offices that are able to do business remotely are expected to enable remote working. While remote working is less efficient for lots of companies, there are plenty of businesses where staff can do most or all of their work just as easily using a remote work setup.

When will offices reopen in London?

As the UK’s most populous city and one of its most dense, London has experienced higher numbers of covid-19 cases than anywhere else in the country. Assuming that we return to a tier system once lockdown ends, London offices are likely to remain shut longer than the rest of the country.

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Posted by Jonathan Ratcliffe, Friday 29th January 2021

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