HSBC has scrapped the entire executive floor at its Canary Wharf headquarters in the latest change to its post-pandemic working practices.
The 42nd floor, which was previously home to executives, will be used for client meeting rooms and collaborative spaces while top managers will hot desk on the open-plan 40th floor.
“Our offices were empty half the time because we were travelling around the world. That was a waste of real estate,” chief executive Noel Quinn told the Financial Times. “If I’m asking our colleagues to change the way that they’re working, then it’s only right that we change the way we’re working.”
“We don’t have a designated desk. You turn up and grab one in the morning,” he added. “I won’t be in the office five days a week. I think it’s unnecessary… It’s the new reality of life.”
HSBC has already made some sweeping changes to its working pattern as it adjusts to the post-pandemic reality.
The bank announced plans to scale its office space back by nearly 40 per cent as part of cost-cutting measures. Quinn previously indicated that while HSBC would keep its Canary Wharf HQ, offices elsewhere in the capital would likely be scrapped as they came up for lease renewal.
HSBC has 66 offices in the UK of which at least 10 are in the capital, according to its annual report.
“We will have a very different working style going forward that will be much more hybrid, where colleagues can part work in the office, part at home,” Quinn told the FT.
HSBC’s peers are also enacting sweeping changes that will see the City look remarkably different post-pandemic. Nationwide has told its 13,000 office staff that they can work from home full-time while Lloyds is trialling hybrid working after 77 per cent of staff “expressed a desire” to continue working remotely.