The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said the UK was nearing a 'pivotal moment', when new working practices could be adopted across the economy, amid pressure from employees for a new way of working.
Many people have adapted to working from home, while even workers in industries like manufacturing are keen on more flexible working hours, even if it means being paid less, it said in a report.
However it comes amid fears that a reluctance to return to working in city and town centre offices is having a detrimental knock-on effect on service and hospitality industries.The service and hospitality industries only exist because people leave their homes and commute long-distance to work. That's why the transport facilities, which seem also to be a 'concern' to the government, exist too.
But if the work situation changes....why should they also not change?
The report said much of the innovation in working practices made necessary by Covid-19 - including, in manufacturing, more flexible shifts at different times of day, or staff working longer but fewer shifts to spread work between them over different days - have been helpful to workers, while maintaining production.If production is maintained, and the business is happy, and the workers are happy...what's the issue?
Downing Street was urged to toughen up its 'back to work' message last night after a string of top firms said they would not be encouraging staff back to offices for months.
A Mail audit of big companies found many are not planning for the majority of workers to return to offices until at least towards the end of the year.The government is therefore heading towards confrontation with civil servants, as they attempt to force them back to save the sandwich industry.
Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told the Mail: 'The Government needs to stop with its mixed messages. It needs to stop being equivocal and be clear that it is safe to go back to work and take public transport.
'If you're under 40 and fit and healthy you have more chance of dying while riding your bike than dying from Covid. People need to start properly weighing up the balance of risk. These employers are absolutely bloody mad for not getting more employees back – all the other small firms that rely on offices being back will go bust.'Why do so many modern Tories want the tail to be able to wag the dog?