Вefore the coronavirus pandemic, the office was where millions of us spent about a third of our time. However, since the lockdown, almost half the UK’s workforce say they have been working from home -and some companies have hinted it could become the way of the future.

“Unfortunately, we might get misty-eyed about it but I think the office in the form it used to be is probably now a thing of the past,” said one business trend analyst.

“Anyone who thinks things are going to go back to the way things were is bananas.”

But declaring the end of the office is not clear-cut.

Many predict a “radical decrease” in the amount of time people spend in the office -but says office working will not be over for good. One reason, he suggests, is that home-workers tend not to get promoted as quickly -“They tend to get overlooked”.

So with a recession on the way, people may want to be visible.Home-working is not new -it’s been on the up in recent decades -and many companies have already been trying to save money on rent by hiring co-working space.

Cost is a big driver, and many companies will say we are spending all this money on rent so let’s move to more home-working. That was already happening.”

How will it affect us?

Many of us have already discovered some of the perks and problems of working from home. Some are obvious -no commute; less chance to socialise with colleagues. But others go to the heart of our identity.But some people need the office to keep them sane, to give a sense of routine, and not least to socialize with other people and simply have a good laugh.