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Hospitality and transport sectors set for boost of £10bn plus as offices reopen

Businesses supporting city workforces across England set to see a boost of £10bn as a result of workers returning to the office on a hybrid working schedule.

Research suggests the return to offices will see workers each contributing up to £1,373.57 to the economy per year

With workers being encouraged to return to the office, one firm has calculated the impact that busier city centres could have on the UK hospitality and transport sectors.

Based on workers returning to offices just two days a week*, there is a potential windfall for businesses that support the country’s workforce such as coffee shops, restaurants, and public transport. Their research shows workers could spend up to £1,373.57 each per year, even without going back to spending 5 days in the office. That’s based on the average price of a morning coffee at £2.81, with lunch also coming in at £5.77, just twice per week, as well as transport costs at £5.72 incurred on the commute.

With a total of almost 7,968,500 workers* based in cities around England, that means a potential annual spend of £10,945,276,608.00 available, which is welcome news to those companies that have struggled to keep their business afloat during the pandemic.

“There’s a huge range of businesses that will benefit from workers returning to the office,” said Zoë Morris, President at Frank Recruitment Group. “Even further beyond those we meet during our work hour are the people working to get us to our offices and serving us post-work drinks and meals—there’s an entire support network around the desk-based workforce that this cash boost will impact in a positive way.”

Despite the lifting of restrictions, the success of remote work during the pandemic is likely to mean that the return to offices won’t be on a full-time basis, but the advantages of having more people visit these cities even a couple of days a week is evident.

“From a takeout coffee on the way to the office to treating ourselves at lunch, that spend has a fantastic impact on city centre economies, which have really struggled to adapt to the challenges of the last two years,” said Morris.

Across the 50 cities analysed, the data below shows how much an individual will spend each year in total, depending on their city. On average, employees in England will each spend £1,373.57 on both hospitality (£824.06) and transport (£549.50) by returning to office work twice a week. For local businesses looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, this provides excellent news as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Figures are based on the average price  (GBP) of one regular cappuccino, one McMeal at McDonald’s (or equivalent combo meal), and two single journey tickets via local transport per day according to https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/. Yearly figures based on cost per two days by 48 weeks to account for four weeks holiday. This amount was multiplied by the number of employees in each city included – data was acquired from https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/. *There was no available data for the number of employees in Chichester, Wells, Truro, Salisbury, Ripon Hereford, Ely and Chester.

*Calculation made by Frank Recruitment Group

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