When the government’s advice to work from home was withdrawn on 19 July, many employers rushed to announce that they were embracing a hybrid working model. Their message was about embracing flexibility, enabled by effective technology and enjoying the mutual benefits of saved costs and time.

There were a minority of contrarians. Goldman Sachs, for one, was vocal in its desire to see all staff back to pre-covid-19 working patterns in its offices. The media largely portrayed this as the dinosaurs versus the progressives, but the adoption of the hybrid model owed a lot to economic self-interest.

At the start of lockdown in 2020, I remember pondering, “How long will it take employers to work out they don’t need ...

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