By Emmanuel Nduka
UK banks are calling time on their work-from-home policy, as executives have mandated more office days as part of efforts to boost productivity.
Starting Monday, September 4, Lloyds says it will now require 40,000 workers to be in the office at least twice a week, introducing free food as a new perk to lure staff back.
For HSBC, it plans to increase mandatory office days to three per week beginning in October, while Citi is monitoring staff attendance and could dock bonuses if workers don’t come in for at least three days a week.
Meanwhile, some employees are pushing back. A Lloyds staff grievance against tighter policies received nearly 4,000 signatures.
While remote work can lead to happier employees, it is not the same as higher productivity, a business school professor told The Times.
This situation has left banks and major employers in other sectors facing the challenge of striking the right balance.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the numbers of people working from home in the UK has dramatically increased.
Studies have also shown that people are generally happier working from home, because it allows for more flexibility, even as there has been struggles when there is need to communicate and collaborate with colleagues.