Sunday 26 September 2021 11:48 am

Unilever remote staff must have 24-hour commute to the office

Unilever has told its remote workers they must not stray too far from the office and should live within a 24-hour commute.

The Dove owner has told employees they must be able to come into the office at a day’s notice if required for an emergency meeting. 

The company has defined a 24-hour trip as a “reasonable commute” for workers, according to The Sunday Times.

Since early Covid lockdowns, many remote workers have moved homes and some even continents. Now, companies are keen to see office workers return on a hybrid basis. 

Unilever – which oversees more than 400 brands including Lynx and Ben & Jerry’s – employs some 150,000 workers, with 6,000 based in the UK.

Online streaming service Spotify has told employees they can work remotely from another country if they want to.

Other bosses have been stricter with employees and instructed them to come into an office at least a few days a week.

Unilever’s chief human resources officer, Leena Nair, told The Sunday Times: “People are constantly asking: ‘can I work from another country?’ Well, that depends on various factors like tax and other things, but also, you have to be willing to come to your place of work within 24 hours.”

Unilever staff have been told to work with other staff members on when to come into the office, rather than making individual decisions based on personal preference for childcare or other factors.

“Scheduling our presence in the office is a team sport,” Nair added.

Among Unilever’s staff across the world, employees under 30 and over 50 were most raring to return to the office. Staff members with children to look after were more likely to ask for flexibility with working.