The number of London workers operating from home will double to 25 per cent over the next five years, with huge long-term implications for the capital’s economy, according to new analysis today.
It comes after the Standard yesterday revealed how the absence of commuters has already had a devastating impact on central London businesses during the lockdown.
But today’s research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), suggests that they will not come flooding back once official advice says that it is safe to use public transport again. The CEBR research, seen by the Standard, estimates that on any working day last year 11.9 per cent of London workers were based in their studies, kitchens or living rooms.
It now forecasts this will swiftly rise to one in four after the lockdown-imposed ban on non-essential commuting revealed that many companies can function normally without all their staff sitting in an expensive London office.
Douglas McWilliams, deputy chairman of the CEBR, said the findings pose massive challenges for the capital that could bring a golden era of growth since the Big Bang reforms of the mid-1980s to a juddering halt. They suggest that up to 300,000 jobs across London could go over the next five years.
He said: “If we can’t get London going again then I really do think we’ve got a problem. Unless life comes back and it feels like an exciting, fun place, people won’t want to work here.”