Coronavirus warning: UK workers unable to work from home overlooked as crisis ...

HOME WORKING could be here to stay with the coronavirus infection rate rocketing - yet one economist fretted to Express.co.uk over the burden on workers who cannot work remotely that make up a huge proportion of the country's workforce.

PUBLISHED: 14:28, Mon, Sep 14, 2020 | UPDATED: 14:50, Mon, Sep 14, 2020

The Welsh Government has said its ambition is to see about 30 percent of Wales' workforce staying at or near home in the long term. It says that the pandemic has offered the chance to adopt a culture that "supports remote working". The move could reduce congestion and pollution, and improve work-life balance, ministers argue.

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Before the pandemic, just five percent of the UK's workforce considered their home as their main place of work.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in June shows that 49 percent of workers now reported working from home.

Many have noted that the changes in habits forced by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown could transform the face of work.

Yet, home working is only fit for those who have certain limited requirements: a wifi connection, a phone, and a laptop.

Coronavirus: An economist warned over the potential harm of forgetting those who can't work remotelyCoronavirus: An economist warned over the potential harm of forgetting those who can't work remotely (Image: GETTY)

UK city centres: Urban centres around the UK have been empty of office workers for monthsUK city centres: Urban centres around the UK have been empty of office workers for months (Image: GETTY)

For an estimated 4.9 million Britons who work in the retail sector, and 4.5 million who work in health and social care, remote working is impossible.

Many have been forced to attend their places of work even during the pandemic's peak.

Mark Littlewood, the director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), warned Express.co.uk that vast swathes of the UK's workforce threaten to be overlooked by the newfound benefits of home working and potential shifts from urban areas.

He said: "I struggle to think of very many manufacturing jobs that can be done from home.

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Hospitality: Restaurant and cafe workers have mostly returned to workHospitality: Restaurant and cafe workers have mostly returned to work (Image: GETTY)

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"A lot of service industry jobs require you to be in a particular place at a particular time.

"If you're a bar maid or waitress you can't work from home.

"There's quite a chunk of creative work, or middle

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