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London business leaders back flexible working as norm

·2-min read
<p>Equalities minister <a href=

Equalities minister

Liz Truss told MPs yesterday that an element of working from home particularly helps women and people who do not live in big cities.

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London business leaders have backed calls from a Cabinet minister that flexible working should “become the norm” after the pandemic but warned it does not work for every employer.

Equalities minister Liz Truss told MPs on Tuesday that an element of working from home particularly helps women and people who do not live in big cities.

The Trade Secretary told the Commons women and equalities committee: “There’s more we can do... to make sure we’re valuing people for the contribution they make rather than the hours that they sit in the office.”

Richard Burge, chief executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “It’s clear from our research that the majority of businesses who currently are working remotely will continue to do so in some form post-pandemic.

“This doesn’t mean all staff all week, but it does mean less workers in some parts of London on some days than pre-Covid. The reality is that a mix of home and office working will happen for many as soon as the work from home guidance is ended. It’s already happening for some now, and indeed was pre-Covid to a lesser extent.”

Joe Fitzsimons, senior policy advisor at the Institute of Directors, said: “As the economy reopens, business leaders are grappling with the best working models going forward.

“The flexibility of remote working has improved work-life balance for employees and cut-down commuting expenses. In many cases it has also boosted inclusivity and hiring from different parts of the country.

“Despite the advantages, remote working has not been without its challenges. For business leaders, running a tight ship has not been easy without workforces in the same physical space.

“This is not helped by unreliable internet connections. Employee morale has also been affected with the loss of office camaraderie, and adjusting to new roles has been difficult for new staff.

“For organisations that require a lot of customer interaction, remote working is less suitable. However... with varied preferences and different business models, many firms are working closely with employees to find the most productive working arrangement.”

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