Standard Chartered is the latest bank to rethink its attitude towards the office in the wake of Covid-19, committing to a hybrid approach that lets employees mix up where they work.
The bank says that, while it has learned to push the boundaries of remote work during the pandemic, it has also been confronted with the "huge benefits" that face-to-face interactions have for both staff and clients.
In October, Standard Chartered asked for feedback from employees in nine markets on the issue and also carried out reviews of all jobs to see how suitable they are for flexible working, finding that most are.
In response, from early next year, employees in those nine markets - UK, US, Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE and Global Business Services Centres in Poland, Malaysia, China and India - will be able to apply for a formal flexi-working arrangement. Subsequent phases are expected to be offered later in the year.
Employees will have the option to select both time and location flexibility. Additionally, the bank is partnering with a third party to provide additional ‘near-home’ workspace. Standard Chartered says it expects most employees will fall into a hybrid pattern, working some days in the office and some from home.
Tanuj Kapilashrami, group head, human resources, says: “We are excited about the future as we step into a new era for the Bank and the positive impact we can make on our productivity, wellbeing and carbon footprint. We also see this as an opportunity to appeal to a wider and more diverse potential future workforce.”