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Coronavirus: Homeworking putting Belfast offices at risk, say experts

Fall in use of buildings will stall Belfast city centre's economic recovery from pandemic

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Working from home has become the 'new normal' for many

Working from home has become the 'new normal' for many

PA

Nial Borthistle, business manager

Nial Borthistle, business manager

Working from home has become the 'new normal' for many

Belfast could see an epidemic of empty offices in future as companies downsize their need for space as the work from home habit takes root, industry experts say.

The Executive has been urged to work with business to bring a safe return of office workers to their desks to safeguard the economic future of towns and cities.

A survey by Belfast Chamber, revealed in Tuesday's Belfast Telegraph, said just 5% of office workers in the city centre are now back at their desks - a trend which economist Dr Esmond Birnie said could cost businesses in the city centre around £200m a year in lost business.