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- Nationwide Building Society would be allowing 13,000 staff the option to choose where they wanted to work from.
- As part of its flexibility scheme, the company said employees can be in charge of their lives.
- 57% of its employees said they were keen on continuing work from home.
UK’s biggest building society Nationwide Building Society (LON: NBS) has declared that it would allow its employees to work from any location of their choice after the lockdown is eased. This would mean that 13,000 office-based employees can either work from home or can go to office if they like.
The company is planning the new initiative Work Anywhere as 57 per cent of its employees said they were keen on continuing work from home. About 36 per cent wanted a mix of both office and work, while only 6 per cent wanted to return to their previous work life.
As part of the plan, the company would close three of its offices in Swindon and about 3,000 staff would either be working out of home or the head office, or both. Other staff have the option of working from the High Street branch.
CEO Joe Garner said that the year 2020 has taught everyone that it is more important to focus on how jobs are done rather than from where they are done. He said that the company has learnt the lessons and moving forward, it would make employees in control of where they work.
Nationwide is not the first institution to adopt this policy. Many companies across the UK are considering how to manage office and remote work once the lockdown restrictions are eased and many are opting for a mix of both. Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey said working from office would never become what it was during pre-pandemic times.
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Investment banks like Lloyds Banking group Plc (LON:LLOY) and HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA) have said that they are exploring split working models and British Airways is planning to sell its Heathrow Airport headquarters to allow flexible working facilities to its staff.
Oil behemoth BP Plc (LON:BP) has also announced that employees would have the option of working from home for two days in a week after lockdown restrictions are eased.
Nationwide has 18,000 staff and is also devising a plan in five of its sites where branch staff and office-based staff can work along with each other. The company’s staff survey conducted with Ipsos MORI found that about 43 per cent employees wanted face-to-face engagement with colleagues to be able to do their work more efficiently. The company is planning to reimagine office spaces as hubs by developing more spaces for collaboration and less meeting rooms, as well as investing in well-being measures like quiet spaces.