A return to the workplaces of central London and many other cities around the UK is vital not only for the workplace foodservice sector, but for the wider hospitality industry.
The pubs, cafes and restaurants that ordinarily are full of people are no longer, as employers and employees continue to work from home.
Return to workplace foodservice
The initial cause of empty workplaces was the lockdown as everyone did their bit to limit the spread of Covid-19 contagion. The continued absence of employees from their offices not only now exacerbates concerns for workplace foodservice providers, and the wider hospitality industry, but government also.
The government’s wish to now get people back to the workplace sees an advertising campaign launch this week.
In the campaign employers will try to reassure employees that it is now safe to return to work, but regional government is now split on that advice.
In England the government is pro return but in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales ministers are still advising and encouraging people to continue working from home.
Mixed messaging from government ministers in England is now evident and in danger of diluting the message to return to work as advice and opinions from ministers vary.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is firmly behind a return to the workplace as his department continue to see movement around the UK greatly diminished. Businesses that provide transportation being as dependent on a return to the workplace as those in hospitality.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock when asked about a wider return to the workplace and his own Whitehall department as an example however placed the emphasis of his answer on productivity not location.
In an interview with Times Radio Matt Hancock said that he had ‘absolutely no idea’ what percentage of people in his Whitehall department had returned to their workplaces and what percentage continued to work from home. His emphasis was in praising staff for ‘delivering at an unbelievable rate’ during the crisis, irrespective of where they were delivering from.
Once again, the government will have to try and align a cohesive voice to have any chance of it being acted upon.
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News from the hospitality and cratering industry is also being featured extensively in our Facebook and twitter social media accounts with the opportunity to engage with others in hospitality and share your views.
return to workplace foodservice – 1 September 2020 – return to workplace foodservice