Tag Archives: ghost town

Capita To Close Over A Third Of Offices Permanently

Capita to close over a third of offices permanently

Outsourcing firm Capita is to close over a third of its offices in the UK permanently, the BBC understands. The firm, which is a major government contractor, is to end its leases on almost 100 workplaces.

Business lobby group CBI has warned that the fall in office working is damaging city centre economies.

“It’s the biggest experiment we’ve ever had in homeworking”

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A Capita spokesman said: “We take seriously the responsibilities we have to the communities in which we operate. And are mindful of the impact that potential office closures could have on small businesses.”

“Following dialogue with our employees it has become very clear that they would like to work in a more flexible way. This will involve increased working from home. But they will still spend a significant amount of their time working from offices that are based in the heart of our local communities.”

“It’s the biggest experiment we’ve ever had in homeworking,” the CIPD’s chief executive Peter Cheese told the BBC in an interview in July. “Bosses are starting to shift towards judging output, rather than the number of hours spent in front of the computer.”

Myfwl/Worklife Feed has re-adapted the write up for short minutes readers. Click here to view the original write up at www.bbc.com

City Centres ‘Risk’ Becoming ‘Ghost Towns’

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn_City Centres Risk Becoming 'Ghost Towns' If Staff Do Not Return To The Office

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn/BBC/ Warnings – City Centres ‘Risk’ Becoming ‘Ghost Towns’ If Staff Do Not Return To The Office

City centres could become “ghost towns” if the prime minister does not to do more to encourage workers to go back to the office, the head of the CBI says. Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said allowing staff to work from home had helped keep firms afloat during the pandemic.

Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said getting staff back into offices and workplaces is as important as pupils returning to school in September.

“Remote working has been a resounding success for many firms and employees. None of these benefits should be lost.”

Check this related posts, Missing School Is Greater Risk To Kids Than COVID, Health Advisers. Or, Boris Johnson Urges Parents To Send Kids back To School.

Boris Johnson signalled an end to stay at home guidance in July as he gave employers the green light to get staff back to work. But Dame Carolyn called for the Prime Minister to do more, to get office workers back at their desks.

“Flexible working is here to stay and needs to remain an option for many. But there are serious downsides too.” 

‘Escape’ From City Centres, ‘Refuge’ Working From Home

Her plea came as a survey from University College London found, almost a third of younger workers intend to carry on working from home, the Telegraph reports.

But as offices stood empty, thousands of local businesses that relied on the passing trade were suffering, she said.

“Not everyone has the space to work effectively at home. An ironing board in the bedroom does not make a great workspace. And the mental health challenges triggered by isolation are all too real for many.”

A separate survey by the BBC found that 50 of the UK’s biggest employers have no plans to return staff to the office full-time.

However, a increasing number of employers say that home working could become a more permanent state of affairs. Though this was initially brought in as a temporary measure in the lockdown.

The law firm, Linklaters said all of its 5,300 staff could spend up to 50% of their time working remotely from now on.

Lloyds Banking Group is reviewing its office space needs and working practices. This is after concluding that most of its 65,000 staff have worked effectively from home during the crisis.

Others, including NatWest, Fujitsu, Facebook, Twitter and HSBC have also said they plan to allow much more flexible working in future.

Experts say it could allow firms to cut their rent and utilities costs, while offering employees a better work-life balance.

Can Inherent City Centres ‘Risk’ Be Causing ‘Communities Harm?’

“The UK’s offices are vital drivers of our economy,” she wrote in the Daily Mail. “They support thousands of local firms, from dry cleaners to sandwich bars. They help train and develop young people. And they foster better work and productivity for many kinds of business.”

“The costs of office closure are becoming clearer by the day. Some of our busiest city centres resemble ghost towns, missing the usual bustle of passing trade. This comes at a high price for local businesses, jobs and communities,” she said.

There is also the question of fairness. Many employees, from barbers to brewers, have no option to work from home.

The impact on local businesses has also been stark. Sandwich chain, Pret a Manger – which relies on a lunchtime work crowd – said in June it was shutting 30 outlets. It will also be cutting 1,000 jobs amid a slump in demand. It has also cut its staff’s hours.

City Centers Impact On Driving The Economy of The Future

Dame Carolyn acknowledged home working had worked well for many, and was likely to remain “an option”.

But she warned of “serious downsides,” including, a lack of opportunities to train young people, foster better work and productivity in certain types of business.

More flexible working is indisputably a good thing for our economy and quality of life, but we must have a balance.

“It’s time for the UK to bring its workplaces back to life or we will look back with regret at the jobs lost, training missed and communities harmed,” Dame Carolyn said.

In a final plea, Dame Carolyn “ask the Government to work with business to build confidence in returning to offices, starting now.”


Where we are following the story, Daily Mail, Evening Standard and BBC