FEWER Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole residents are working from the office than they were before the coronavirus pandemic, despite all restrictions coming to an end, figures suggest.

The Institute for the Future of Work research unit said Covid-19 rules led to a rise in homeworking across the UK, and many people are keen to maintain the benefits of working flexibly.

Google uses location data from phones and other personal devices to track trends in people's movement in different areas of their daily lives, including where they work.

The most recent figures show activity in workplaces in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in the working week to April 1 was 26 per cent lower than during a five-week baseline period recorded before the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the latest Google figures suggest that more Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole workers are in the office than at a similar time last year, when the UK was just emerging from a series of lockdowns.

Between March 22 and 26 2021, activity in workplaces was 38 per cent below the baseline.

And between March 23 and 27 2020 – when the first UK lockdown began – it was 59 per cent below normal levels.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, which provides impartial workplace advice, said the Google figures match with their own research that over half of employers expected an increase in remote working part of the week once the pandemic was over.

Susan Clews, Acas chief executive, added: “Many employers and their staff have seen the benefits of flexible working during the pandemic and will wish to continue whilst others may be keen to get back to how they were working before Covid-19.

“Hybrid or home working may not be practical for everyone and there are different types of flexible working that may work better."

Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics show that between March 16 and 27, 12 per cent of British adults worked exclusively from home, 57 per cent travelled to work everyday and 14 per cent did a combination of both.