‘People have got to get back to the office’: Leading entrepreneur Sir Lloyd Dorfman calls time on working from home

·2 min read

One of Britain’s most respected entrepreneurs today led calls for a return to the office claiming it was “complete nonsense” to suggest people worked just as productively from home.

Sir Lloyd Dorfman, founder of the Travelex currency exchange business, said that while people coped better than expected with working from home during the pandemic it was “absolutely” time for them to get back to the office.

Speaking on LBC’s Nick Ferrari show, Sir Lloyd, who is also an investor in the shared workspace company The Office Group, said:”I think businesses who have their workforce working with them in the their office will be more successful than businesses who don’t.

“Post Brexit, post Covid we’ve got to get our productive competitive gene working full time and you’ve got to have your team with you, if you want to collaborate, innovate, educate, you’ve got to have people in and around you.

“The notion that people are going to be as productive, as competitive sitting in their bedrooms trying to get decent WIFI connections is just complete nonsense. People have got to get back to the office.”

He was speaking at latest figures showed London offices are on the brink of reaching the “half full” landmark as staff gradually return to their desks after more than a year of working from home.

Latest data from analysts Metrikus shows occupancy of London offices is now regularly reaching the high 40s per cent on the busiest mid-week days from Tuesday to Thursday. Yesterday the figure was 48.5 per cent, and the 50 per cent mark is expected to be breached next week.

Metrikus use motion sensors to detect how many people are moving around office buildings.

Latest date from Transport for London shows that use of the Tube and bus networks is creeping up. Yesterday morning the Underground network recorded 846,000 “taps” of Oyster, debit or credit cards at stations by 10am, up 2.4 per cent in a week. However, that still only represents about 35 per cent of “normal” useage.

On the buses there were 1.03 million “taps” by 10am, slightly up on the week and 58 per cent of pre-pandemic demand.

The data comes after investment bank Goldman Sachs told its London staff they need to be ready to return to the office next month when legal limit on social contact are expected to be lifted.

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