As the UK lifts the last of its lock-down restrictions on the 19 July, businesses around the UK are having to adapt their workplaces to completely new operational requirements.
Metrikus is a software platform that has tracked levels of occupancy in UK offices throughout the pandemic in the UK using IoT sensors. Looked at as an aggregated whole, the data from the last 18 months’ reveals insights into the future direction of the workplace as well as tracking the history of the pandemic.
UK office occupancy plummeted to 9% of the pre-lockdown baseline in the week before the UK entered its first national lockdown on 23 of March 2020. A pattern quickly established that showed that a skeleton staff of between 5% and 11% of workers were using offices – and these would include maintenance, security and support staff.
When lockdown restrictions relaxed in September and October 2020, occupancy rapidly rose, then established a level, with weekly median occupancy hovering one or two percentage points either side of 40% between the third week of September and the beginning of November.
The announcement of the second national lockdown on 5 November had a moderate impact on the number of workers going into the office with weekly medians falling but remaining steady at around 31%.
The third national lockdown began on 4 January 2021 and saw occupancy fall to weekly medians between 15% and 22% during January and February. The beginning of March also marked the beginning of a gradual but steady recovery, which saw median occupancy rise consistently for the 24 weeks up to 19 July.