The Bank of Ireland is the latest company to pivot to a flexible working model with plans to launch four working hubs across the UK.
Some 91 per cent of employees surveyed by the bank have indicated they would like to work flexibly in a sign of just how much working patterns have changed amid the pandemic.
The bank, which has an office on Cheapside as well as sites in Bristol, Solihull and across Northern Ireland, will now invest in four “agile” hubs.
City A.M. can reveal London-based staff will have access to meeting space and bookable desks in Bow Bells House, with other hubs in Birmingham, Belfast and Bristol. It is the first step to a more flexible model but it is unclear whether the bank will abandon its main offices in the immediate future.
The bank already had approximately 3,500 employees working with some degree of flexibility at the start of 2020 but the pandemic has accelerated a drastic change in its working patterns.
“We are going to see less of the old way of doing things, like travelling through rush hour to do something at the office that could easily have been done from home,” chief people officer Matt Elliott said.
“The introduction of a hybrid model also increases accessibility to employees or applicants for roles based around the country and outside urban centres and to those who have caring responsibilities in the home. Ultimately, it offers much more flexibility and choice, blending home and office working with less commuting time and cost and a greater work-life balance.”
Other leading employers are following suit with HSBC last week announced more than 1,200 of its UK employees will work from home permanently.
Elsewhere there has been a slow trickle of office workers returning to the City as lockdown restrictions ease. JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs employees returned in their droves last week.