Nationwide allows permanent working from home

Nationwide Building Society has announced that all of its 13,000 office staff will be allowed to work remotely – even after restrictions urging people to do so are eased.

The move means it has become one of the largest employers to formally introduce permanent working from home.

In a statement, the organisation said staff will be able to work anywhere in the UK that allows them to “control how they balance their work lives and home lives“.

The decision not to request employees return to the office follows results from an internal survey, which revealed more than half (57%) of staff still wanted to work from home after Covid-19 (Coronavirus) restrictions were relaxed.

The survey discovered that only 6% wanted to work in an office permanently, with just over a third (36%) wanting a blended work experience.

Commenting on the move, Nationwide’s chief executive Joe Garner said: “The last year has taught many of us that ‘how’ we do our jobs is much more important than ‘where’ we do them from.”

He added: “We have listened and learned, and we are now deciding to move forward, not back.”

The move will only apply to back-office staff and not those that work in branches.

Garner explained: “We are putting our employees in control of where they work from, inviting them to ‘locate for their day’ depending on what they need to achieve.”

Nationwide’s own recent Future of work report found (90%) of people already working from home said they wanted to continue doing so at least one day a week, with six in 10 (60%) claiming it gives them a better work-life balance.

Nationwide confirmed, however, that it would still invest in offices, “ensuring they are suited to a work culture focused on colleague-led flexibility and choice”.

Last month, HSBC announced it would slash 40% of its global office space, as more people decide to work remotely.