Your article (Why is it business as usual in England while Covid infections rise?, 20 October) says Boris Johnson is “temperamentally opposed to working from home”. What nonsense! Johnson does work from home. Prime ministers – including Margaret Thatcher, who was born above her parents’ grocery shop – have often pointed out that they and the chancellor “live above the shop”. The question is, why doesn’t Johnson want the rest of the working population to share the benefits of this close relationship between home and workplace? Surely it couldn’t simply be to prop up the bar/cafe and commercial property sectors?
Home-based work, while neither possible nor desirable for some, is a popular, family-friendly working practice that has widespread social, economic and environmental benefits. This government needs to harness these by facilitating home-based work for anyone who wants it, rather than attempting to shut this unique opportunity down for the sake of a small but vocal sector of the economy. This is a paradigm shift – businesses need to pivot to embrace it.
Dr Frances Holliss
Workhome Project, London Metropolitan University
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