In mid-2020, as the UK was emerging from its first lockdown, the Government was keen to get people back into the workplace, to help pump money back into city centres and transport infrastructure. However, a new report by cross-party think-tank Demos, commissioned by Legal & General, reveals that during lockdown, people have rekindled a relationship with their local area and amenities. It also shows that bringing in widespread remote-working policies could effectively level up the UK economy, by encouraging people to stay local.
The report, Post Pandemic Places, finds that people’s relationship with ‘place’ has become a lot stronger over the past year, with two-thirds of people’s workplace changing during the pandemic, either due to requirements to work from home or furlough. Evidence suggests that this strengthened relationship between person and place will increase spend in local areas where remote working continues. “This major shift to remote and flexible working has led to a desire for spending more cash and more time locally. In other words, flexible working has the opportunity to make local areas thrive beyond expectations,” explains Kitty Ussher, Chief Economic Advisor at Demos and author of the report.