In the return to work, Britons are lagging by their European counterparts and opting to work from home, according to a new article from Bloomberg. 

“Only 34% of U.K. office workers are working in their normal location, according to a recent survey by analysts at Morgan Stanley. In France, Germany, Italy and Spain the figure ranges from 70% to 83%. In London, nearly half of office staff are working from home five days a week, compared with just 20%-33% for peers in the financial hubs of greater Paris, Frankfurt, Milan and Madrid.”

“So far, employers have been a weak counterbalancing force. They must respect the government guidance and can’t pull staff back en masse before making offices safe. London has more than 2,600 high-rise buildings, compared with less than 1,000 in Frankfurt and Paris, according to real-estate data provider Emporis. It’s hard to get people through turnstiles and up lifts in numbers with social distancing.”

“Meanwhile, many office-based businesses have traded well during lockdown. Fearful of losing their jobs, homeworkers have reinvested commuting time in work. The big investment banks still captured the revenue opportunity created by crisis-driven bond issuance and widespread market volatility. Multibillion-dollar M&A deals have been agreed online. BP Plc this week hosted a slickly produced interactive strategy update praised by zoomed-in investment analysts as if it was even better than the real thing. True, these factors apply in all European cities. They just apply more so in London and the U.K. “