Staff at the Department for Education (DfE) have found themselves working in the corridor after there were twice as many employees as available desks on the return to the office.

As first reported by the website Schools Week, DfE staff had to sit in canteens or corridors after the Government ordered employees back to work.

In Leeds, there are 24 desks for 110 staff, despite bosses stating that people should work at the office for at least 80% of the week.

Across the DfE’s 12 offices, staff outnumber desks by nearly two to one.

Figures released this week showing that the DfE now has 4,200 desks across its 12 offices, but 8,009 full-time staff.

Schools Week reported that some staff were sent home from the DfE’s Sheffield office, with some meetings held over Zoom because meeting rooms were full.

A Government spokesperson said: “Ministers have been clear that departments should make maximum use of office space and progress is being monitored.”

The Government said that hybrid working was not new practice for the department and did not stop offices being used at full capacity, with hybrid work arrangements in place prior to the pandemic.

The Government added that hot desking was common in both the private and public sector.