Bank of Ireland is the latest financial services firm to embrace Covid-19's disruption of office life by rolling out a hybrid working model.
The Irish lender is letting employees work from a combination of home and central office locations, and will also offer access to a network of 11 remote working hubs by the end of 2021.
While around 3500 employees at Bank of Ireland were working with some degree of flexibility at the beginning of last year, Covid-19 has accelerated the trend.
The move is popular among staffers, with more than three quarters of employees expressing a preference to work from home between 25% and 75% of their working week.
Matt Elliott, chief people officer, says: "Things won’t go back to how they were at the start of 2020. We are going to see less of the old way of doing things, like travelling through rush hour to do something at the office that could easily have been done from home."
Bank of Ireland is far from alone in making changes to where people work. A new CBI/PWC survey of UK FS firms shows that over two-thirds are looking at redefining or reconfiguring use of existing office space while nearly 60% are considering reducing their real estate.
Just under three quarters believe that the role of office space will change to facilitate greater hybrid/flexible working, with two thirds stating that they will be utilising more space for collaboration activities between staff.
Respondents expect to see investment on land and buildings cut back, while IT spending increases. Meanwhile, over 90% anticipate a greater need for skills in technological proficiency.
Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist, says: "Covid is continuing to accelerate business transformation, with the role of the office space evolving to facilitate greater hybrid and flexible working.
"The majority of financial services firms also anticipate greater need for technological, people management and leadership skills, and are preparing their workforce for this."