Freedom Day: No big return to the office for North Lincolnshire workers

Workplaces in North Lincolnshire were quieter during the first week without Covid restrictions than in the previous seven days, data suggests, despite the Government's work from home guidance coming to an end.
Workplaces in North Lincolnshire were quieter during the first week without Covid restrictions than in the previous seven daysWorkplaces in North Lincolnshire were quieter during the first week without Covid restrictions than in the previous seven days
Workplaces in North Lincolnshire were quieter during the first week without Covid restrictions than in the previous seven days

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 North Lincolnshire average activity in workplaces was 18 percent below normal levels in the week commencing July 19.

This was down slightly from 17 percent below 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 North Lincolnshire shows:

Activity in retail and recreation establishments was four percent below normal levels – up from 10 percent ​below the week before

In supermarkets and grocery stores, it was 17 percent above usual – up from 15 percent ​​above in the previous week

Activity was 24 percent above pre-pandemic measurements in parks and public spaces – a rise from 19 percent above during the previous seven days

It was 24 percent below the baseline on public transport – down from 22 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 five percent 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.”