The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has advocated for a return to the offices which he argues will allow young people to learn on the job. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has backed plans for employees in England to return to offices from the 19th July, in line with the final stage of the Government’s roadmap.

Mr. Sunak stated it is “really important” for young people especially to return to their workplaces, explaining that it allows them to “learn from others more directly”.

Previously, CEO of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon, also shared this view. Mr. Solomon raised concerns about the effects permanent remote working would have on new graduate recruits.

Describing the experience of staff who have had to learn on Zoom and Teams over the past year, Mr. Sunak stated it “hasn’t been great”.

The Chancellor instead argued that workers “getting support from their mentors” on-site has been “really valuable” for them.

Notably, the Government has refused to explicitly command staff to return to the offices from the 19th, instead leaving this up to the discretion of individual employers.

This comes as recent figures show the potential for a new wave with the UK recording 35,707 new cases of the virus on the 9th July.

Mr. Sunak stated that he trusted “people and businesses to make decisions for themselves”.

However, recent research by the Future Strategy Club indicated that over half (57 per cent) of young workers do not want to return to a traditional 9-5 role with a full-time return to the office.

As such, Justin Small, CEO of Future Strategy Club, suggested companies must focus on company culture in order to retain and attract young talent:

Despite Sunak telling workers to “get back to the office”, 57 per cent of the millennial workforce do not want to return to a corporate 9-5 role post-pandemic. As our most talented young professionals decide not to return, firms will face a talent crisis and run the risk of losing their competitive edge because of it. This means it is now essential that the UK workforce becomes more enticing for its employees.

Yet short-term solutions and office perks are simply not enough to encourage young people back to the office, with the benefit of these perks often short-lived. What really matters in a firm is cultivating a culture of innovation and autonomy – this is the key to preserving employees well-being post-pandemic and retaining your best talent.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.