No big return to the office for Hartlepool workers

Workplaces in Hartlepool were quieter during the first week without Covid restrictions than in the previous seven days, new data suggests.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 3:08 pm
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Government work from home guidance came to an end on July 19 – “Freedom Day” – but business leaders say an overall drop in workplace activity nationally could be down to the emergence of hybrid working – a mix of home and office working.

Google uses location data – from phones and other personal devices to track trends in people's movement – shows that, in Hartlepool average activity in workplaces was 22% below normal levels in the week, down from 20% the previous week.

Google data for the week in Hartlepool shows:

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*Activity in retail and recreation was 13% below normal levels – up from 20% below the week before.

*Supermarkets and grocery store activity was two per cent below usual – up from five per cent below in the previous week.

*Public transport use was 19% below the baseline – up from 27% below the week before.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says a national average workplace activity fall of 26% was unsurprising.

Maxine Bligh, director at the CBI, said: “The pandemic has taught employers that, in general, people can do large parts of their job from home without any impact on productivity.”

She added that many people are also having to self-isolate due to potentially coming into contact with someone who has coronavirus, which could also be impacting workplace activity levels.

Nationally, retail and recreation saw the biggest boost in activity following Freedom Day – just five per cent below baseline levels.