People working from home between March and June during lockdown cost the hospitality sector approximately £2.3b of spending in shops, pubs and eateries near London employment hubs.
This is according to CEBR (Centre for Economics and Business Research), which said London still looks "like a ghost town" even after the easing of lockdown restrictions. Cebr said homeworking has "sucked the life out of many central locations", with the city lagging behind other regions for the number of people returning to workplaces.
Google mobility data showed that during the peak of the lockdown in April, the number of people going to places of work on weekdays in London was 77% lower than before the crisis. By June this had picked up to 60% lower than the period 3 January to 6 February.
Meanwhile, data gathered on usual spending by employees near their places of work from research by iZettle and Nationwide suggested spend on goods and services, such as lunch, after-work drinks, coffee/tea, snacks, stationery and other office equipment amounted to approximately £202 per month.
The £2.3b figure comes from the Google data in addition to these spending statistics and scaling up to the number of employees in London prior to the crisis for an estimate of the amount of money that is not being spent.
Previous CEBR research found that when the ‘new normal' emerges in 2021 it is likely that, for London, 30% of employees will still be working at home on any one day, while before the crisis it was only 11.9% of employees.
Scaling from this, the capital will continue to lose out on around £178m per month compared to what was previously spent by employees near their places of work prior to the crisis.