Government efficiency minister Jacob Rees-Mogg has issued a call for the “rapid return” of civil servants to their Whitehall desks this week – and he’s already enforcing the rules in the most Jacob Rees-Mogg way possible.
In a letter to Cabinet ministers, Mr Rees-Mogg said they needed to issue a “clear message” to their departments that with the end of Covid restrictions in England, officials should be back in the office.
He argued that ending working from home would bring the benefits of “face-to-face, collaborative working” as well as delivering wider benefits for the economy.
With up to three-quarters of staff still reportedly working from home, Mr Rees-Mogg accompanied his letter with a league table showing how many staff in each Government department were attending the office on an average day.
“Now that we are learning to live with Covid and have lifted all legal restrictions in England, we must continue to accelerate the return of civil servants to office buildings to realise the benefits of face-to-face, collaborative working and the wider benefits for the economy.
“To deliver this, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Steve Barclay, and I, urge you to issue a clear message to civil servants in your department to ensure a rapid return to the office.”
A note left by Rees-Mogg for civil servants who aren’t at their desks has been making the rounds on social media.
It reads: “Sorry you were out when I visited.
“I look forward to seeing you in the office very soon.”
Here’s a flavour of the reaction: