New plea to get workers back to Ipswich town centre offices

Terry Baxter

Ipswich Central chair Terry Baxter has repeated calls for offices to bring staff back to the workplace. - Credit: Nicole Drury

A fresh appeal has been made for town centre businesses to bring their workers back to Ipswich offices - in a bid to boost the town centre after the coronavirus crisis.

Ipswich Central argues that many workers are more productive when they are together at the workplace, rather than being based at home.

And bringing back the workers is seen as vital for the town centre if its shops, pubs and cafes are to thrive again after the pandemic.

This week, national think-tank Centre for Cities produced a survey saying only 27% of office workers had returned to their normal workplace after the first lockdown was imposed.

Ipswich Central chairman Terry Baxter has once more called on all major employers, both private and public sector, to lead the way in bringing their workers back to offices.

He said: “There is a clear sense of direction set down by the government for businesses and organisations to return to the workplace.

"Yes, this may well take the form of hybrid working. However, the time has come for our all major employers to start to get their staff back and for other town centre-based businesses to then follow suit.

Most Read

"Higher numbers of workers coming back is vital for the recovery of those businesses and services that support town centre-based employees.

"We made this call last year and were told that the time then was not right.

"Well, we are saying that now is the time to lead the way back to a town centre recovery by bringing staff back into the workplace before it is too late for many of those ancillary businesses that rely on them to be there.”

Following talks with firms, Mr Baxter said there is now a feeling that productivity was suffering significantly from so many workers being based at home.

Willis building

Offices are being urged to bring back their staff to boost productivity. - Credit: Barry Pullen/iWitness

He said young people - especially recent graduates - were suffering by working on their own and not as part of a real team in an office atmosphere.

He added: "At the start of the first lockdown I think many businesses were just relieved that their staff could continue working - but now they realise their productivity is not as good as it was in the office and we hope they will bring them back to their normal workplace."