Sheffield city centre: Bosses urged to 'reward attendance' as working from home costs £36m-a-year

Offices are now just a third full, on average, during the week
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Working from home costs Sheffield city centre up to £36m-a-year, new figures show.

Up to 81,600 people work from home up to three days-a-week. Prior to the pandemic it was believed to be less than 10,000.

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A report by Kada Research for Sheffield Property Association states offices are now just a third full, on average, during the week.

Tim Bottrill of Sheffield Property Association.Tim Bottrill of Sheffield Property Association.
Tim Bottrill of Sheffield Property Association.

Staff appreciate the mental, physical, and financial benefits of ‘WFH’ and the changes are ‘likely permanent’, it adds, but it threatens to put city centre firms out of business.

The report comes with a string of recommendations.

Director of Sheffield Property Association, Tim Bottrill, said “This is the first time anyone has looked at working-from-home patterns following the pandemic on a local and national level in this level of detail.

“We hope the recommendations are taken on board to ensure that the effects of working from home can be mitigated.”

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Kada urges bosses to improve offices and invest in measures that ‘reward attendance’ such as team food deliveries, flexible hours and discounts at local businesses.

It emphasises the importance of having a ‘diverse residential population in the city’ and recommends the council pays for marketing targeted at 24-35 year-olds.

Sheffield city centre.Sheffield city centre.
Sheffield city centre.

Sheffield City Council says it wants an extra 20,000 homes in the city centre to boost 'vitality'.

Nationally, Kada says the number of UK homeworkers increased from 4.7 million to 9.9 million between 2019 and 2022, leading to a loss in city centres of £3bn in total.