HSBC Expects To Embrace Hybrid Work Set-up
GLOBAL – Multinational bank HSBC expects to institutionalise a hybrid work arrangement post-pandemic, given that up to 70 percent of its employees support such move, reported Bloomberg on Friday morning (3 September, SGT).
“My own view on the return to office is it would be a waste if we didn’t learn from the last 18 months,” HSBC’s CEO Noel Quinn said in an interview with Bloomberg Front Row on Wednesday.
London-based HSBC, which operates major hubs across the globe, saw over 90 percent of its personnel working from home (WFH) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the lender managed to not only reduce expenses but also witnessed a turnaround in crucial businesses.
However, there’s bad news for its landlords across the world, as the multinational bank plans to slash its real estate footprint by 40 percent and has no intention of renewing many of its CBD leases in the next few years.
HSBC has even surrendered the executive floor at its headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf. It is also adopting a policy limiting the maximum number of staff per desk to 2, excluding in its branches.
Although Quinn stated that he doesn’t want to be “overly prescriptive”, he foresees that employees would now be permitted to work 3 days per week in the office, while some days they can work remotely.
Still, he admits that there are major benefits of working in the office. “I don’t want to lose that DNA and that teamwork. I’m really glad to be back in the office, seeing colleagues and having conversations in the corridor or in getting stuff done on the spur of the moment, rather than having to book a VC (video-conferencing) call or a telephone call,” Quinn noted.
Similarly, banks like Citigroup have indicated that they may allow staff to permanently work from home. On the other hand, the bosses of lenders such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are urging for a nearly full return to the workplace, although with some flexibility granted to staff.