A BLACK Country business coach has welcomed the Prime Minister's decision to allow staff back to the workplace.

As widely predicted Boris Johnson has announced plans to ditch the wearing of facemasks, social distancing and the requirement to work from home - from July 19.

He told the national the pandemic is far from over but people must learn to live with Covid and take personal responsibility for keeping themselves and their loved ones safe while trying to get back a return to normality.

Andy Hemming, of ActionCOACH Black Country, was among business bosses welcoming the lifting of the work from home guidance and he said: “It’s great news to see the Prime Minister signalling an end to the work from home order. "Most business owners I know are keen to have their teams back in the workplace for most of the working week.

“While homeworking was vital during the throes of the pandemic, I believe a safe physical return to the workplace is crucial for the economy and for the mental health of employees.

“Many businesses have now had staff working from home for the past 15 months, and it’s taken its toll on workplace communication, culture - and in some cases productivity. It’s simply unsustainable."

Mr Hemming, who helps businesses to achieve their full potential by maximising efficiency and increasing profitability, added: “Being in a physical workplace allows for better communication, which in turn leads to increased creativity and the building of a better workplace culture.

“Although working from home might be seen by some employees as the perfect set up for them - and it has undeniably brought some benefits for employees, including not having to commute - it has also meant the loss of many personal boundaries, with home life and work blurring together, often to the detriment of one or the other.

“It’s very difficult to put boundaries in place when you’re constantly working from home, because inevitably one area or another starts to encroach, leading to increased stress, reduced focus and lower productivity. The return to the workplace will ensure better balance for both businesses and employees.”