The Government’s “Eat Out To Help” voucher scheme, as reported here in BusinessTalk.News on the 9th August is due to draw to a close in September. So will continued economic pressure from the Covid-19 pandemic force the government to extend the scheme or will they be redirecting the money into attracting home workers back to the workplace?
Apparently the government is considering subsidising there-day rail season tickets with an announcement expected soon to tempt people back to their jobs, backed by a campaign to reduce remote working. This comes at a time when the government are concerned about the results to the economy from increased remote working which has led to a reduction in numbers, particularly in both the City of London and in other city centres throughout the UK, where many businesses depend on their trade from office workers.
Already many businesses such as the food chains, Pret A Manger, Caffé Ritazza and Upper Crust have been forced to shed jobs due to lack of demand. And with schools starting to reopen the government want to halt the decline in job loses and get people back to work and spending money.
However there are several major problems ahead. Firstly, many daily commuters are worried by using public transport buses and trains because of the Covid-19 virus. Secondly, people have got used to working from home rather than trudging through the daily hassle of going to and from their jobs in city centres. For example, recent surveys in the National Bureau of Economic Research and the AA in April reported that more and more people are showing higher percentages of trends for a preference to continue to work from home.
And thirdly, and maybe the most important challenge ahead for the government’s back to work campaign, is that large companies operating out of city centre office locations, are reviewing their staffing plans which they made during the lock down to allow employees to continue working from home on both a temporary and permanent basis.
As reported here on BusinessTalk.News on the 28th July, could this be the “new normal” for businesses not returning to the workplace by offering remote working flexibility?
With further fears surrounding the pandemic continuing into the autumn and winter months, should the government be listening to these companies who are extending remote working practices …and put their money into supporting the future of work based on a reduction in numbers returning to the office and support of new working from home arrangements?