Freedom Day: No big return to the office for Lincoln workers

Workplaces in Lincoln remained quiet during the first week without Covid restrictions, data suggests, despite the Government's work from home guidance coming to an end.

Workplaces in Lincoln remained quiet during the first week without Covid restrictions, data suggests.

Business leaders say the emergence of hybrid working models – encouraging a mix of home and on-site working – could be behind a slight fall in activity in workplaces across England following so-called “Freedom Day” on July 19.

Google uses location data from phones and other personal devices to track trends in people's movement in different parts of their daily lives.

It compares footfall in five areas outside of the home – retail and recreation, supermarkets and pharmacies, parks, public transport and workplaces – to a five week-baseline period recorded before the Covid-19 crisis.

In Lincoln average activity in workplaces was 20 percent below normal levels in the week commencing July 19.

This was unchanged from during the previous week, when the Government’s instruction to work from home where possible was in place.The final lifting of restrictions on July 19 saw the end of social distancing and limits on how many people can meet up indoors and outdoors.

Nightclubs were allowed to reopen and large music and sports events can now take place.

Google data for the week ending July 25 in Lincoln shows:

- Activity in retail and recreation establishments was 14 percent below normal levels – up from 21 percent ​below the week before

- In supermarkets and grocery stores, it was 14 percent above usual – up from 10% ​​above in the previous week

- Activity was 112 percent above pre-pandemic measurements in parks and public spaces – a rise from 112 percent above during the previous seven days

It was 36 percent below the baseline on public transport – up from 38 percent below the week before

Across England, retail and recreation saw the biggest boost in activity following Freedom Day, up from 10 percent below pre-pandemic levels in the week to July 18, to 5% below the following week.

The increase in activity was welcomed by the British Independent Retailers Association.

Andrew Goodacre, chief executive officer, said: "People are still coming to terms with the new guidelines, so any increase in visitors to places where there is retail is good given the tough time businesses have had over the past year.”