Remote working ‘could cost UK economy up to £95bn a year’

remote work

Remote working ‘could cost UK economy up to £95bn a year’

Almost half of employees said they miss the camaraderie of the office environment (Photo: Getty)

Remote working could cost the UK economy up to £95bn a year, according to a new report analysing the benefits of office environments.

Research commissioned by commercial landlord Landsec found that face-to-face working boosts productivity and innovation and sparks investment in residential and commercial property, business events, meetings and travel.

The report found that the direct economic contribution of in-person working amounts to £95bn in a typical year.

Most firms pivoted to home working at the beginning of the pandemic in March last year, with some saying they will adopt a flexible approach to office use in the future.

However, almost half of employees currently working at home miss camaraderie and collaboration with colleagues in the office, separate research by the property developer found.

In total, 43 per cent of workers have missed the camaraderie of being in the office during the pandemic.

The survey of 3,000 office staff found that 41 per cent of respondents believe that working in an office is better for collaboration.

Remote working could also be detrimental to the mental health and productivity of employees, the report found.

 49 per cent of those surveyed said the office provides a better environment for encouraging them to feel like a valued member of the business

Meanwhile, 37 per cent said creative thinking is “much better” in an office environment.

Tom Wood, chief executive of digital product and design agency Foolproof, said in the report: “There’s a substantial community inside the business feeling that they’re missing out on one of the things that is part of the package of being at work: the actual physical proximity to a company with smart, funny, interesting, lively people and feeling that they are missing that in all kinds of ways.”

Morgan Tillbrook, founder of London-based firm Alpha FX added that it is harder to effectively lead a team while remote working.

“It’s that difference between managing and leading people,” he said.

“Arguably, businesses may get better at managing tasks and data with remote working.

“But to lead people and elevate them, you have to be around them.”


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