FEWER Dudley residents are working from the office than they were before the coronavirus pandemic despite all restrictions ending, 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 personal devices to track trends in people's movement in different areas of their lives, including where they work.

Most recent figures show activity in workplaces in Dudley in the working week to April 1 was 22 per cent lower than during a five-week baseline period recorded before the pandemic.

In England, domestic legal restrictions ended on February 24 as part of the Government's 'Living with Covid' plan.

Activity in UK workplaces was 26 per cent below normal in the most recent week's data – a figure which has remained around the same level since early March.

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.

Latest Google figures suggest more Dudley 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 35 per cent below the baseline.

And between March 23 and 27 2020 – when the first UK lockdown began – it was 55 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.