JP Mor­gan dou­bles num­ber of staff re­turn­ing to of­fice work

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Rachel Mil­lard

JP MOR­GAN is to dou­ble the num­ber of in­vest­ment bankers who can use its of­fices each day as City firms grap­ple with the chal­lenge of bringing work­ers safely back to their desks.

It comes amid in­tense un­cer­tainty over the fu­ture of of­fice work­ing and the com­mer­cial prop­erty sec­tor in key ur­ban cen­tres through­out the world.

Last night, prop­erty web­site Re­act News said that Google had walked away from a deal for 200,000 sq ft of space in Dublin.

In Lon­don, half of JP Mor­gan’s in­vest­ment bankers can now work from its Ca­nary Wharf head­quar­ters at any one time, com­pared to a pre­vi­ous max­i­mum of 25pc. The rise is likely to af­fect sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple.

Many JP Mor­gan staff are work­ing a “week on, week off” pat­tern in the of­fice to main­tain so­cial dis­tanc­ing and pre­vent the spread of coro­n­avirus, although those who wish to stay at home can do so. The in­crease was first re­ported by the Evening Stan­dard as ma­jor Lon­don busi­nesses in­clud­ing Ac­cen­ture, Aviva, Clyde & Co, JLL and Le­gal & Gen­eral teamed up to de­velop ideas on help­ing work­ers get back to the of­fice safely, with sky­scrapers still sit­ting al­most empty months af­ter Covid deaths peaked. Huge chal­lenges re­main over how to han­dle en­try sys­tems, lifts and pub­lic trans­port.

The Lon­don Work, Travel and Con­vene Coali­tion plans to is­sue a re­port in

Novem­ber dis­cussing the most help­ful tech­nolo­gies and prac­tices, with a view to de­vel­op­ing a bench­mark.

There are con­cerns about the slow pace of the re­turn to the of­fice in the UK. It is feared this is hav­ing a cat­a­strophic im­pact on ur­ban busi­nesses, land­lords and trans­port firms.

Many em­ploy­ers re­main con­cerned about pro­tect­ing em­ploy­ees, and so­cial dis­tanc­ing mea­sures mean work­ers can­not pack into build­ings on the same scale as be­fore.

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