Many financial institutions in London, in fact throughout the country, have spent the last few months preparing contingency plans to make working from home a standard procedure. Some employers have already discussed with staff that a return date to working from the office will not take place until next year, whilst others have agreed to allow staff to work from home on a more permanent basis. Numerous companies are now of the opinion that not only is remote working as productive as working from the office but it could also be a contributing factor towards saving jobs when offices or branches are closed, with the new focus being “collaboration hubs” for meetings.
Most of the companies polled believed the move to more flexible working will improve employee morale and productivity. With a smaller number of staff in the offices, most expect to make savings on all kinds of overhead expenses associated with centralized offices: rent, utilities, cleaning services, food services and building maintenance and as such are now seriously considering the option of downsizing or relocating whilst reviewing long-term lease options. Further savings can be made by extending remote working beyond the duration of the crisis, with staff required to come to the office no more than one or two days a week.
A balance of office and homeworking is the future, but there is still very much a place for the office, albeit structured differently with many companies now planning to downsize or relocate offices.
We advise on what is now considered the new ‘normal’, on new infrastructures and management systems so please contact one of Radstones experienced consultants for further guidance.