City Of London Footfall Hits 51%
UNITED KINGDOM – As people in the country’s capital gradually return to their workplaces after COVID lockdowns, footfall in the Square Mile on 13 October 2021 reached 51 percent of levels seen in February 2020, reported Bloomberg on Monday evening (18 October, SGT).
At Canary Wharf, the area is more bustling as footfall reached 59 percent. In comparison, footfall in Wall Street in the US is even higher at more than 60 percent, said Orbital Insight, which calculated footfall via mobile phone and satellite data.
After 1.5 years of working from home (WFH), it’s unknown if the city streets would return to their pre-COVID bustle, especially at the beginning and end of the week. This is because over 80 percent of London-based staff who took part in a survey conducted by JPMorgan said working full time either from the office or from home were their least wanted options after the end of COVID-related curbs.
Last month, the average occupancy rate of office buildings across Europe and Africa reached 14 percent on Mondays, but merely 11 percent on Fridays, well below the level seen on other weekdays, based on data from Freespace, which derived its data from over 100,000 sensors installed in offices across the globe.
The figures indicate that while central business districts (CBD) are not totally deserted, government officials and bank bosses may face difficulties in encouraging staff to return to their workplace as workers are hesitant to surrender the advantages of WFH.
According to a survey of 2,005 adults in the country that was conducted by software firm Momentive in mid-September, 52 percent of polled UK workers said they’d rather resign from their job than return to the office full time.
“The future of work isn’t about home, office, or hybrid – it’s about agility,” said Allison English, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of workplace research company Leesman.
“An outstanding office has advantages that even a great home working environment can’t compete with, and employees and employers alike will realize this as hybrid working becomes more entrenched,” she added.