Boris says workers will be back in the office in 'a few short months'

Brits will be heading back to the office ‘in a few short moths’, Boris Johnson predicted yesterday.

The Prime Minister dismissed the idea that lockdown measures would lead to a permanent shift towards working from home.

Speaking at a rail industry conference via video link yesterday, he said: ‘I know that some people may imagine that all conferences are going be like this, held over Zoom, Teams or what have you and we’ve got to prepare for a new age in which people don’t move around, do things re-motely, they don’t commute any more.

‘I don’t believe it. Not for a moment. In a few short months, if all goes to plan, we in the UK are going to be reopening our economy.

‘And then believe me the British people will be consumed once again with their desire for the genuine face-to-face meeting that makes all the difference to the deal or whatever it is.

‘Never mind seeing our loved ones, going on holiday or whatever.’

As the Government prepares to gradually ease lockdown restrictions in stages from March under its new timetable, bosses have been told to let office workers remain at home ‘wherever possible’ until at least June 21.

But Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon has called working from home an ‘aberration’ and doesn’t think it will be come the ‘new normal’.

At a virtual conference organised by Credit Suisse, he said: ‘That’s a temporary thing. I do think that for a business like ours, which is an innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture, this is not ideal for us.’

When the PM unveiled his roadmap out of lockdown on Monday, he conceded that there would be ‘no credible route to a zero-Covid Britain or indeed a zero-Covid world’.

But he added ‘We cannot persist indefinitely with restrictions that debilitate our economy, our physical and mental wellbeing and the life chances of our children.’

The Government has said social distancing is ‘difficult and damaging for businesses’ and is trying to get them back to normal as soon as possible.

Under step-four of the plan to lift lockdown a ‘complete a review of social distancing measures and other long-term measures ‘ is expected to be concluded by June 21.

The Government aims to offer a vaccine to all adults by the end of July, with all remaining over-50s and vulnerably adults to be invited for one by mid-April.

Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘We need to get people back to work as soon as possible.

‘There are lots of reasons why work is important to our lives. It affects people’s physical and mental wellbeing and there are issues around productivity.

‘I would like to see as much detail as possible in the roadmap to help people to make plans. They need to know in advance.’

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