London’s once turbulent City Finance District is returning to life, but it has signs of a deadly epidemic that has raised fresh questions about the future of the so-called “Square Mail”.
The Cowade 19 health crisis began in April last year, sparking a nationwide lockdown that turned the global financial center into a ghost town.
City workers were forced to work remotely, and some then resorted to hybrid or flexible work that divided time between home and office.
The UK was completely out of the lockdown last month, happy with the rapid vaccination, but many Delta Cowaid workers are in no hurry to return to office amid various concerns.
“At work or at work, many people remain at risk of exposure to the virus,” Lorna Lendels, corporate real estate expert at Remat Consulting, told AFP.
The school holidays and the government’s cowardly policy have affected the return to office life, but fully vaccinated Britons do not have to isolate themselves after coming in contact with the infected person.
However, according to data compiled by Remit, the Central London office occupancy for the week ended August 20 is only 10.3% of its total capacity.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Nigel Wilson, head of insurance legal and general, said, “When I look out of my office window, the streets look very empty.”
“We are very early in the day (reopening) and I expect more people to come back in September.”
In contrast, Howard Davis, chairman of the Net West Bank and former head of London’s financial watchdog, believes the city has changed forever.
“The day when 2,500 people walked in through our office door at 8:30 in the morning and came out again at 6:00 in the evening, I think it’s over,” he told Bloomberg.
“It will look very different during the day and Central London will not go back to the step we did before – people are worried about the dangers of travel and they have discovered that they work differently. can.”
However, British Finance Secretary Rishi Sink wants office workers to return, saying it would help young people’s careers.
Nevertheless, banking companies such as Barclays and HSBC are betting on long-term hybrid work patterns, which has reduced their need for office space.
According to a recent survey by recruitment firm Michael Page, about 80% of city workers plan to return to office by September.
Even so, only 25% of workers expect to return for a full five-day week.
City officials are shining a positive light on the region’s outlook, with the financial impact of the Brexit already uncertain.
City of London Corporation Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness said: “Headquarters centers still have a long way to go – whether it’s staff development, team morale, collaboration and creativity, networking opportunities or much more. Yes. ” Statement to AFP
“Many employees themselves are anxious to return to the office for at least part of the week, and their return will be a necessary step for the hospitality and retail sectors.”
The corporation operates the Square Mail, or historic financial district, which includes the Bank of England and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Jonathan Ports, a professor of economics at King’s College London, said the city would continue to be important after the arrival of travelers.
“While working styles will definitely change – and that may mean some changes in the sense of the city – I think London will remain a major center of global finance,” he told AFP.
Before the epidemic, more than half a million people traveled and worked in the city, breathing life into its coffee shops, pubs and restaurants.
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