Friday 19 March 2021 10:07 am

Exclusive: Daily Mirror publisher Reach to close a London office and make most staff permanent home workers

Newspaper publisher Reach, which owns the Mirror and Express as well as a number of regional titles, is planning to close offices and make most of its employees permanent home workers.

The company will close its Lower Thames Street office in central London and reduce its office space in Canary Wharf from two floors to one, City A.M. can reveal.

The majority of Reach employees will work from home on a permanent basis as the publisher aims to reduce costs by shrinking its office space.

It is not clear how much the company, which also owns the Manchester Evening News and the Liverpool Echo, will save through the cost-cutting measures.

It comes after Reach decided that remote-working had been successful during the pandemic.

Employees were told this week that most of them will now be based at home after coronavirus restrictions are lifted, and will only attend the office for occasional meetings.

Some members of staff will be home-based but “linked to a hub”, meaning they will be required to spend some time in the office.

The minority will be permanently-based in an office, and these are expected to include editorial production staff.

The publisher is not expected to close any of its 110 titles and no jobs are at risk of redundancy due to the office changes.

Hubs

Its reduced Canary Wharf office will continue to serve as the company’s headquarters, and it will have a further 14 “hubs” across the UK in Belfast, Bristol, Birmingham, Dublin, Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Nottingham, Plymouth and an office in the South East.

It will not reimburse employees for additional bills or WIFI expenses incurred while working from home.

Reach, which last year axed 550 jobs after advertising revenue sank during lockdown, reported a sharp drop in sales and profit in its latest financial results.

Revenue fell 14 per cent to £600.2m in the second half of the year and profit plunged to £133.8m.

A spokesperson for Reach said: “We carried out a survey of all colleagues that showed a majority found home working suited their needs.  Moving forward colleagues will either be home based or working mainly from home with around a quarter office-based, working from one of our 15 hubs around the country.

“This solution provides increased flexibility with the ability to have access to meeting space to recapture face to face collaboration and a social element – when lockdown rules allow.”

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