Just What Is It You Think We’re Working For, Khan?

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan today admitted coronavirus-fearing companies’ empty city offices were killing the economy, declaring ‘If we all stay at home working it’s a big problem‘.


Because a few coffee shops go to the wall? Because TfL can’t fleece hundreds of thousands of workers for conditions you wouldn’t legally be able to transport livestock in?

…as small companies face bankruptcy from a lack of footfall he urged big firms to reconsider staying clear of London.

‘Many small businesses rely on your workers going to work, the café bars, the dry cleaners, the shoe repair shops and others.

‘When I meet those not just in the culture industry and hospitality, small businesses they are struggling.

Well, maybe you shouldn’t have increased the Congestion Charge then. How do you think these small businesses get staff and supplies, Star Trek style transporter?

But, as others have noted, the idea that things must go back to how they were before Covid may well no longer apply…

Chris Biggs, founder and managing director of Theta Financial Reporting, said in July he feared the working from home genie had now been let out of the bottle – and could not be put back.

He told the MailOnline: ‘I think it’s a bit of a watershed moment. From an employee’s point of view they might not feel safe going back into the office.

‘I have spoken to people from big firms who don’t want to go back. I know there are businesses that have said they are not going back until 2021 and I know some that will now have working from home permanently.

I don’t think management thought systems would work as well from home as they have. Now they know it’s possible. I know myself when I was commuting in previously it is packed and cramped – who will want to do that without a vaccine?’

Who will want to do it even with a vaccine? Just to save Ali’s Snack Bar and the Head of Diversity’s personal assistant at TfL?

Certainly not me!

9 comments for “Just What Is It You Think We’re Working For, Khan?

  1. Valentine Gray
    August 17, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    There are now groups of people renting above empty local shops a little walk from home doing the job they once did by being tortured traveling to the City, a friend of mine saves 15 hours a week by working at home, those 15 hours are free time healthier, happier, more money to spend on the family. So the Covid backfire they didn’t expect, with more to come

    • SteveA
      August 19, 2020 at 1:13 pm

      Nationwide have just ‘moth balled’ three of their 5 swindon offices until next year. I suspect they will not all reopen

      Zurich are currently trying to get people back in the office. Apparently they have under one percent attending.

    • August 23, 2020 at 6:59 am

      The Great Commuting Bubble has burst.

  2. August 17, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    Factory workers, farmers, miners, heck, even airline people, have to go someplace. They can’t do it from home.

    Good job we destroyed manufacturing, eh? No stay-aways there since quite a while. Now if we could just get someone to grow our food and fly it in………

    • Stonyground
      August 18, 2020 at 7:50 pm

      As far as I’m aware, we manufacture more than we ever did, we just need far fewer people to do it.

      • August 23, 2020 at 7:00 am

        Thanks to automation?

  3. Lord T
    August 18, 2020 at 9:52 am

    I’ve been watching US politics for a while now and it appears that NY is hitting the same problems. The people that pay the bills are leaving due to high costs and crime and the rest are staying. I see dying mega cities and technology made that inevitable but inertia and resistance to change delayed it. Then Covid forced change and the unexpected consequences were home working is the new norm. Councils and businesses will have to adapt. Hopefully it will be painful for councils. They won’t be able to just up the rent because people are now able to move away.

  4. Stonyground
    August 18, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    It is a fact of life that old ways of doing things die out and, as a result, people are temporarily put out of work. It has to happen there is no way around it. I presume that there are people employed in the manufacture of music CDs. Having belatedly signed up for a spotify account, I can’t think of any circumstance in which I would ever again buy a CD. The odd thing is that old school vinyl LPs are becoming popular and so, presumably some CD manufacturers will change over to making them.

    • August 23, 2020 at 7:00 am

      Apparently, even cassette tapes are making a comeback!

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