Building society Nationwide is enabling its 13,000 office-based employees to do their jobs from anywhere in the UK in a new ‘work anywhere’ scheme.
The move comes after Nationwide employees were surveyed on how they would like to work in future; just 6 per cent reported that they want to work in an office five days a week and more than half (57 per cent) wish to work from home full-time.
More than a third (36 per cent) prefer a blend of home and office work.
Nationwide’s ‘work anywhere’ approach is focused on "how people can do their best work rather than where they are based".
Early data shows that remote working is seen by many to have benefits, with 30 per cent of employees saying that they are better at prioritising decisions in the interests of members by working from home.
Joe Garner, chief executive of Nationwide Building Society, 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. We have listened and learned, and we are now deciding to move forward, not back. 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. Our data suggests that working in a home environment encourages us to think more about the impact on others when making decisions. As a member-owned organisation, we encourage a focus on humanity, while embracing technology. We are also continuing to invest in some of our office space to foster social contact, collaboration and creativity.”
Raj Krishnamurthy, CEO at Freespace, said: “Clearly we are settling into an era of hybrid working. Workplace technology, including mobile applications, will play a significant role in supporting employees wherever they are in the office or working remotely. This gives them more control over where they work, when, and who they see. The technology is there to enable organisations to measure a number of employee variables such as their preferred days for office working, modes of commute, or popular work locations, and preferred days to work.
"This anonymous data will assist business leaders in understanding patterns of use across their property portfolios and if their buildings are being used efficiently. This reinforces the notion that future offices must be flexible. Where they were previously designed specifically for five working days a week, now office design must consider that different teams, groups and individuals will visit the office separately and on different days. Homeworking has changed what the workplace experience is for employees and any future workplace design alterations must reflect that. The real concentrated work will continue to be done at home, whereas the office will be a place for teams to get together, collaborate, and socialise. Programmes which monitor workplace occupancy rates will play a central role in enabling the most appropriate measures to be put in place at any one time.”