THE number of office workers going in full-time has overtaken the figure for hybrid staff for the first time since the Covid lockdowns.
Just under half of workers are now in five days a week, according to research from recruitment giant Hays.
This compares to two in five who are now splitting their working week between home and the office.
And less than a fifth are still fully remote, the poll of 15,000 office employees found
Many companies have actively encouraged workers to return to the office.
The switch has even been noticeable at tech giants who developed software to help workers do their jobs at home.
Zoom, the video meeting business which boomed during the shift to home-working, has asked staff to come in.
In what was seen as a “Ratner moment”, its boss Eric Yuan told staff that it was impossible to “have a great conversation” over Zoom.
Amazon boss Andrew Jassy has also warned staff they must be in the office three days a week, despite the online giant generating billions from web shopping and IT cloud services.
It had been thought that Covid could cause a permanent shift towards home-working. But many bosses have since said that office attendance is essential for collaborative and creative work.
And more than half of workers now say they would accept a job even if there was no hybrid working, suggesting that attitudes are changing.
Gaelle Blake, at Hays UK and Ireland, said: “Despite more workers saying they are now working full-time in an office, it’s evident hybrid working can’t be erased overnight.”
Rise in borrowing hinders Hunt
THE cost of government borrowing shot up even further yesterday, putting more pressure on the economy and giving Chancellor Jeremy Hunt less wriggle room to cut taxes.
Yesterday the yield on UK 30-year government bonds — known as gilts — rose to 5.2 per cent, the highest level since 1998.
Yields, which are the interest paid to investors, rise as the price of bonds fall because owners want a higher amount of reward if the asset is seen as riskier. The wild swings in the bond market has meant that even the yield on a typically more stable 10-year government debt has hit 4.7 per cent — higher than the levels during a market meltdown in last autumn’s mini Budget.
The drama in money markets isn’t just confined to the UK, with bonds in the Eurozone also swinging and the US Treasury yield above 5 per cent for the first time since the sub-prime crisis in 2007.
Economists say bond markets are responding to traders’ bets that central banks are unlikely to lower high interest rates for many months yet.
Sluggish Vistry to axe jobs
HOUSEBUILDER Vistry is cutting 200 jobs as a drop in demand from homebuyers starts to bite.
Vistry, which was known as Bovis until a rebranding in 2020, employs 5,200.
The firm said it would have to restructure its business after a sluggish September meant its profits would be £40million below expectations.
Vistry said it was also having to give bigger discounts to prospective buyers to seal deals.
Figures across the industry have shown that the number of housebuilding projects have plunged to the lowest levels since the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Higher mortgage costs have been blamed, despite a continuing shortage of homes.
Many would-be owners have been forced to keep renting because the cost-of-living crisis means they cannot save for a bigger deposit, and soaring mortgage rates have made buying a house unaffordable.
JD cards for Xmas
JD SPORTS is the latest retailer to launch a loyalty card in the run-up to Christmas.
It offers a ten per cent cashback on a first purchase and one per cent thereafter.
The sportswear chain has been trialling the card in Manchester for eight weeks. It will work as a mobile app across JD Sports’ 370 shops.
JD has said that its customers are cushioned from cost-of-living woes as most are young and mortgage-free.
Oil and gas price dip
WHOLESALE oil and gas prices slumped yesterday in some rare good news for energy markets.
Investors have been watching the war in Gaza for fears it could disrupt global supply. But Israel holding off a ground invasion has been welcomed by markets.
Experts also said a warmer start to winter should mean European gas supplies will last longer.
And longer-term supply deals between Qatar, France, Italy and the Netherlands have reduced fears of shortages. As a result, Brent crude’s price fell by 1.23 per cent to $90.94 and gas fell by 2.54 per cent to 138.50 a therm.
OVER 460,000 workers will receive a 10 per cent pay boost as the real living wage rises to £12 an hour. In London, the Living Wage Foundation has set the hourly rate at £13.50, meaning full-time staff will earn £3,081 more a year.
Keller at a high tide
THE construction company behind the Thames Tideway super sewer has buoyed the markets by saying its profits would jump above expectations after a “record year”.
Shares in Keller GROUP jumped by more than 15 per cent yesterday to 774.78, lifting it to the top of the FTSE 250 risers after it said that its strong trading in North America, Asia and the Middle East had continued.
Chief exec Michael Speakman said: “We now expect full-year underlying profit to be materially ahead of current market expectations.” However, trading in Europe was slow.
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