More Companies Tell Their Staff to Work From Home Post-Lockdown

An increasing number of companies are telling their staff to work from home at least some of the time, confirming previous reports that, for many, “hybrid working” could become “the norm” post lockdown. HSBC moved 1,200 staff in Britain to permanent working from home contracts last month – many of them willingly – in an effort to cut costs, despite a study finding that working from home is less productive (not to mention the impact on staff socialisation). The latest companies to take this approach are Google and KPMG. The Guardian has the story.

Accounting and consultancy group KPMG has told its 16,000 U.K. staff that they will have to work only an average of two days in the office each week from next month, as the firm revealed its plans for a post-pandemic hybrid working model.

Under the new initiative, which the company has called the “four-day fortnight”, staff will spend the remaining days working either from home or at client sites.

In addition, over the summer, staff will also be given an extra 2.5 hours off each week “to give people time away from work and to re-energise”. 

All staff will be given an extra day off on June 21st, the date the Government plans to end all social distancing restrictions – which many see as marking the end of the pandemic.

The new KPMG working arrangements were unveiled as Google said it expected 20% of its staff to work from home permanently in the future. The search engine group said it anticipated 60% of workers being office-based, 20% working in new office locations and 20% staying at home.

Those proposals are in stark contrast to the approach taken by investment bank Goldman Sachs. On Tuesday, Goldman moved in the opposite direction, telling its U.S. and U.K. bankers to prepare to return to offices next month.

Jon Holt, Chief Executive at KPMG UK, said: “We trust our people. Our new way of working will empower them and enable them to design their own working week. The pandemic has proven it’s not about where you work, but how you work.”

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: Almost all of the U.K.’s 50 biggest employers say that they do not plan to bring staff back to the office full-time, according to BBC News.

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