Transparency data: Civil Service headquarters occupancy data

Cabinet Office

November 23
09:30 2023

Civil Service headquarters occupancy data: February 2022 to October 2023

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The government announced on Wednesday 19 January 2022 that it was no longer asking people to work from home, with all other Plan B measures in England being lifted by 27 January. Civil servants who had been following government guidance and working from home could then start returning to their workplaces.

This data presents the daily average number of staff working in departmental HQ buildings, for each week (Monday to Friday) beginning the week commencing of 7 February 2022.


Press enquiries:


The data was originally gathered for internal purposes to indicate the progress being made by departments in returning to the workplace in greater numbers. Data was collected from Departmental HQ buildings to gain a general understanding of each departments position without requiring departments to introduce data collection methods across their whole estate which would be expensive and resource intensive.

These figures incorporate all employees for the departments providing data for this report whose home location is their Departmental HQ building. The figures do not include contractors and visitors.

A listing of all Civil Service organisations providing data is provided.

Data on percentage of employees working in the HQ buildings are provided by departments

All data presented are sourced and collected by departments and provided to the Cabinet Office. The data presented are not Official Statistics.

There are 4 main methods used to collect the Daily Average Number of Employees in the HQ building:

  • wifi and/or computer log-ins associated with location
  • swipe pass entry data
  • space or desk booking system
  • manual count

This data does not capture employees working in other locations such as other government buildings, other workplaces or working from home.

It is for departments to determine the most appropriate method of collection.

Notes on measure of attendance in the workplace

The data provided is for Departmental HQ buildings only and inferences about the wider workforce cannot be made.

Work is underway to develop a common methodology for efficiently monitoring occupancy that provides a daily and historic trend record of office occupancy levels for a building.

Comparisons between departments

The data shouldnt be used to compare departments. The factors determining the numbers of employees working in the workplace, such as the differing operating models and the service they deliver, will vary across departments. The different data collection methods used by departments will also make comparisons between departments invalid.


Percentage of employees working in the HQ building compared to building capacity is calculated as follows:

Percentage of employees working in the HQ building =

daily average number of employees in the HQ building divided by the daily capacity of the HQ building.

Where daily average number of employees in the HQ building equals:

Total number of employees in the HQ building during the working week divided by the number of days during the working week

Collection periods

The data is collected weekly. Unless otherwise stated, all the data reported is for the time period Monday to Friday.


In the majority of cases the HQ building is defined as where the Secretary of State for that department is based.

Current Daily Capacity is the total number of people that can be accommodated in the building.

Departments providing data

  • Home Office
  • Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
  • Cabinet Office
  • Department of Health and Social Care
  • Department for International Trade
  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Department for Education
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • HM Treasury
  • Department for Transport
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Scotland Office
  • Wales Office
  • Northern Ireland Office
Published 30 June 2022
Last updated 23 November 2023

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