Monday 5 July 2021 8:03 pm

John Lewis and Waitrose to introduce flexible working for head office staff

Bosses at John Lewis and Waitrose have confirmed they will introduce flexible working for all staff based at the company’s head offices.

The announcement by the employee-owned retailer came after Boris Johnson confirmed plans to lift most lockdown restrictions on 19 July, including an end to the government’s work from home guidance.

“If restrictions are lifted on July 19 we won’t tell our head office partners where to work. The pandemic has forced us all to rethink the norm of five days in an office,” Andrew Murphy, executive director of operations for the John Lewis Partnership, told the PA news agency.

“We will continue to support and enable our partners as they figure out how and where they work best for the type of work they do.

“I don’t believe anyone can make confident assertions about how this will play out in future years.”

John Lewis is the latest major British business to embrace the shift to flexible working after Asda last week said staff would be able to work from any location best suited to our job.

Other companies that have already offered hybrid working include banks Lloyds, HSBC and Barclays, as well as outsourcing giant Capita and British Gas owner Centrica.

John Lewis said the decision came after it took feedback from staff members, who are known as partners due to the company’s ownership structure.

The majority of partners said they were more productive at home but they wanted to come into the office at times when working on large projects.