The government is drawing up work from home orders for Christmas, according to news reports.
These accounts say that because of the threat from the Omicron variant and rising cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a 'Plan B' for the festive period, which could be put in place in the coming days. It would mean working from home and an increased need for vaccine certification.
Andrew Mawson, founding director of global consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), said that work norms "are in a completely different place to where we were last year, and even earlier this year" whether the Omicron variant is an issue or not.
Mawson said: "There is no comparison between being told to work remotely in March 2020 and being told to do so now. Based on our research and the conversations we are having with clients, most organisations have already embraced a hybrid way of working where employees split their time between working remotely and being physically in the office, and they are utilising that model rather effectively and productively. So as they are working remotely anyway, and in today’s tech and virtually led workplace, I’m more than confident that employees can adapt and it will be ‘business as usual’ if the government reintroduces a remote working directive.”
Angela Love, director at Active Workplace Solutions, a company that specialises in workplace change, says it was only right to accept that "Covid is part of our personal and professional lives now".
Love said: "Much of the workforce has already adapted well on more than one occasion, proving that it can work effectively from just about anywhere. However, the conversation will again turn to what the role of the office is with fewer and fewer people coming in five days a week. We certainly cannot have another lockdown. There’s too much at stake when it comes to mental health and wellbeing, and it may also be the last straw for some businesses, particularly those operating in the hospitality sector, which has already seen numerous Christmas parties cancelled across the UK. We must be cautious, sensible, and find the strength to live with the virus.”