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'Nearly two-thirds' of adults back in the workplace, says ONS

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Nearly two in three adults are now travelling to work, as some employers ask their staff to return to offices during the pandemic.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that 62% of adults reported commuting to work last week. That compares with 36% in late May, soon after the ONS began compiling the figures during lockdown.The government has been encouraging workers to return to offices to help revive city centres.While the proportion of people travelling to work has increased, the ONS said 10% of the workforce remained on furlough leave.
It added that 20% of people continued to work from home.
Business groups have warned city centres could become "ghost towns" if more staff do not return, damaging small businesses that rely on passing trade from office workers.However, new research released on Thursday by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests that working from home could be a permanent fixture for many, following the pandemic.According to the survey of 1,000 employers, 37% believe staff will regularly avoid the journey into the office following Covid-19 - up from just 18% before the pandemic.
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CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese said: "The step-change shift to home working to adapt to lockdowns has taught us all a lot about how we can be flexible in ways of working in the future."Employers have learnt that, if supported and managed properly, home working can be as productive and innovative as office working and we can give more opportunity for people to benefit from better work-life balance."However, he said it did not suit everyone and that organisations would have to design working arrangements around people's needs while "also meeting the needs of the business".
Furlough wind-down
The ONS also found that about one in 10 workers are still furloughed under the government's job retention scheme. Under the scheme, workers placed on leave have been able to receive 80% of their pay, up to a maximum of
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Office for National Statistics
UK economy
Lifestyle
Coronavirus pandemic
Flexible working
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