Have your say: Will the five-day office week ever return?

·2 min read

The five-day office week could return to the UK after the coronavirus pandemic is over, it has been predicted.

A think tank has forecast that workers will go back to an office environment on a full-time basis within two years.

Centre for Cities told the BBC that staff will ease themselves back to their work surroundings by commuting three or four days a week.

But the group said it is hopeful that a full-time five-day working office week is on the horizon.

Paul Swinney, director of policy and research at Centre for Cities, told Radio 5 Live's Wake Up to Money programme: "I expect we will see three or four days a week in the office as the UK recovers.

"Over the longer term, I'm quite hopeful that we will see people return five days a week.

"The reason for that is, one of the benefits of being in the office is having interactions with other people, coming up with new ideas and sharing information."

Those who can work from home are currently advised to do so under the government’s COVID-19 lockdown easing roadmap, but this could change if England’s restrictions are jettisoned on 21 June.

Last month, the Office for National Statistics revealed that the proportion of people who worked from home more than doubled during the pandemic.

And 50 of the UK’s biggest companies, which employ a combined one million people, told staff they will no longer be expected to return to the office five days a week.

Earlier this month, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said its staff must return to the office at least three days a week from September, although some employees are reportedly rebelling against the plan.

In the UK, workers who don't want to return to the office are able to request flexible working from their employer, although research shows working from home can add up to £243 to energy bills.

Read more: Do you want to return to your office full time?

Watch: Working from home more than doubled during COVID pandemic

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