- Standard Chartered plans to offer flexible work options to more than 90% of its 85,000 employees by 2023, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg.
- About half of the bank's staff will be able to apply for hybrid work starting early next year. The bank is also in talks with an unnamed third-party company to provide "near-home" workspaces, according to the memo.
- About 60% of surveyed employees have accepted the bank's offer of hybrid work, the London-based lender said. That figure encompasses two-thirds of staff in Singapore, 76% in the U.K., and 79% in the U.S., Bloomberg reported.
The issue of when to return to the office has been top of mind for banks for several months. Some banks, such as JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, pushed to repopulate offices in September — only to send workers home in New York after some tested COVID-positive, and in London this week to follow lockdown orders.
Other banks, such as Deutsche and Capital One, have allowed a much longer remote-work policy — with the former telling its New York staff it doesn't expect a return to the office until July 2021, and the latter letting most of its U.S.-based call-center workers stay remote after the pandemic.
Standard Chartered's announcement follows a survey asking workers in the U.K. and Asia whether they preferred to work from the office, switch to remote work or a hybrid of the two.
"While we have been thinking through the issues around future workplace for some time, it's inevitable that recent events provided a catalyst," Standard Chartered's head of human resources, Tanuj Kapilashrami, said in the memo.
Banks in the U.S., too — Citi in particular — have canvassed employees to gauge their interest in returning to the office.
Standard Chartered's CFO, Andy Halford, by contrast, reportedly said recently that "the word 'office' will become a bit of a thing of the past."