Westminster government plans to see working from home maintained beyond the pandemic risk creating inequality between town and city centres across the country, according to high street supporters.
The government is planning to introduce law changes to introduce a “default right to work from home”, according to reports across the media on Thursday. A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson told The Big Issue there are no plans to “make working from home permanent or introduce a legal right to work from home”.
But the government has committed to “consulting for the longer term on making flexible working the default unless employers have good reasons not to”.
However, Covid-19’s impact on office working – which has seen city centre offices deserted since March 2020 – looks set to have a long-term effect with work from home guidance still in place in England, Scotland and Wales.
If employers want to get the best, most diverse people on their team, going back to bad old inflexible habits is a big no
That must trigger a rethink in how to use city spaces, Alex Schlagman, founding partner at SaveTheHighStreet.org told the Big Issue.
“There are going to be haves and have nots. There will be less people commuting to cities, more people working from home and more people in regional and suburban high streets from a footfall point of view,” said Alex.