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Financial workers in London flock back to office

London’s financial sector is keen to return to normality after the pandemic. It is encouraging the employees back to their old lives.  In some companies they are even offering free food and social events. And that seems to be working. London’s transport operator said that this week it recorded its busiest day since the pandemic started.

Canary Wharf Group also said it was busier than any time since March 2020. Its plazas were crowded by staffs and the other City workers bustled on London Bridge. Ian Williams, working at investment bank Peel Hunt was travelling back into his office for the first time, in a very long time. He said that it feels like London offices post the summer-holiday period should be starting to get back to normal in September and October. Standard Chartered said that about 33% of staff were in the office this week. The bank is creatively rewarding the staffs who make it into the office, such as providing food.

The investment bank said that around 3,000 workers came in to its Plumtree Court offices in this week. This was 50% capacity. Daily occupancy at HSBC’s headquarters in Canary Wharf rose to 1,800 people. And many more are expected to come in the next few weeks. UK CEO Ian Stuart told that nearly 10,000 branch staffs came to work every day through the pandemic without any lures, such as free food. He also said that the office is very safe. Citigroup is expecting their staffs to come back to offices for two days a week from Sept. 13, but only if they are vaccinated.

Rob, who works for a financial firm said that it is a bit crazy that suddenly they are back to getting crushed on the train and not everyone is wearing a mask. Investment bank executives are the most vocal on the need for staff to return to the office. JPMorgan has seen about 35% of its staff in its Canary Wharf office this week, which is the highest proportion since the first lockdown. NatWest is planning a phased return from next week with 50% occupancy in its offices. Insurer Phoenix Group has new strategy for helping staffs to return to its offices. They ran a safely social event this week. Here their employees were offered free food and soft drinks.

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