Many large businesses have confirmed that they will approach with caution returning staff to the office, despite the government lifting of final Covid restrictions in England from Monday, July 19th.
The government confirmed yesterday that it will no longer ‘instruct’ people to work at home but many companies have made it known that they do not plan to bring all staff back to the office.
Many major companies have said they will opt for a staggered approach for employees, with the BBC reporting on the decisions of several major firms.
Deloitte said it will increase the number of staff allowed to work in its offices to 50% capacity from next week, but the accountancy firm expects that level to stay in place until September. Deloitte currently operates its offices at 30% capacity and employees have to book desks. A spokeswoman for the firm said it had always intended to take a "gradual approach" to moving staff back to its sites.
NatWest has confirmed that it will bring staff back to the office from 19 July but it will only be a small number of "priority workers". Whilst the insurance group Aviva said it expects ‘to see more of our people returning’. However, it is understood that ‘the vast majority of people at Aviva want to work flexibly in future’ and employees will combine going into the office with working from home.
On Monday, the PM confirmed that final restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of Covid will be lifted in England from July 19th, including the guidance on office working but then also said that it ‘would expect that office workers make a gradual return over the summer’. With continued uncertainty about rising cases in areas, many businesses are approaching the subject with trepidation, and the first and foremost priority has to be the safety of their staff and visitors / customers.