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Nearly ALL of Britain’s 50 biggest firms are planning ‘hybrid’ model

Nearly 50 of Britain’s biggest firms plan on using a ‘hybrid’ model of working, allowing staff to work from home two or three days a week.

Working in the office part time – with the remainder done at home – will be a model adopted by 43 per cent of the country’s biggest companies, a survey found.

Just four employers are still deciding whether the hybrid working plan will work for them.

Britain is on track to lift all Covid restrictions on June 21 under Boris Johnson‘s roadmap out of lockdown, meaning any number of people can interact indoors from then.

And the Prime Minister this week revealed there is a ‘good chance’ that current one-metre social distancing rules will be scrapped on that date too.

As it stands, Britons are asked to work from home where possible, but the rule change could see countless people flocking back in.

While some welcome not having to commute, others – especially those who live alone or have inadequate home-working arrangements – long to return to their desks.

Nearly 50 of Britain’s biggest firms plan on using a ‘hybrid’ model of working, allowing staff to work-from-home two or three days a week. Recruiter Adecco (its London HQ pictured) said four-fifths of its 34,000 employees are working from home

Working in the office part time - with the remainder done at home - will be a model adopted by 43 per cent of the country's biggest companies. JP Morgan (its London HQ pictured) has had some staff back in the office from March 29

Working in the office part time – with the remainder done at home – will be a model adopted by 43 per cent of the country’s biggest companies. JP Morgan (its London HQ pictured) has had some staff back in the office from March 29

Accounting firm KPMG (its London HQ pictured) told its 16,000 UK staff on Wednesday that they will work in the office for up to four days in a fortnight starting next month under a hybrid working model drawn up following the recent decline in British Covid cases

Accounting firm KPMG (its London HQ pictured) told its 16,000 UK staff on Wednesday that they will work in the office for up to four days in a fortnight starting next month under a hybrid working model drawn up following the recent decline in British Covid cases

Boris Johnson reveals there is a ‘good chance’ current social distancing rules will be SCRAPPED on June 21

Boris Johnson today revealed there is a ‘good chance’ that current social distancing rules will be scrapped on June 21.

The Prime Minister said he hopes it will be possible to axe the existing one-metre plus rule when the nation reaches the final step in his lockdown exit roadmap.

His comments came as hospitality bosses said a return to unrestricted trading is ‘critical’ and will mean that pubs, bars and restaurants can ‘come off life support’.

Ditching the one-metre plus rule will allow hospitality venues as well as places like theatres to open at full capacity for the first time in more than a year.

It was reported overnight that one-way systems, screens and mask-wearing while moving around could remain in place in hospitality settings beyond June 21 but customer numbers will no longer be limited.

Audiences in theatres and cinemas will have to wear face coverings during performances, while there will be strict guidance on ventilation and staggered entry, according to The Times.

Speaking during a visit to Hartlepool, Mr Johnson said: ‘As things stand, and the way things are going, with the vaccine rollout going the way that it is – we have done 50 million jabs as I speak to you today, quarter of the adult population, one in four have had two jabs.

‘You are seeing the results of that really starting to show up in the epidemiology.

‘I think that we will be able to go ahead, feels like May 17 is going to be good.

‘But it also looks to me as though June 21 we’ll be able to say social distancing as we currently have to do it, the one-metre plus, I think we have got a good chance of being able to dispense with the one-metre plus from June 21.

‘That is still dependent on the data, we can’t say it categorically yet, we have got to look at the epidemiology as we progress, we have got to look at where we get to with the disease. But that’s what it feels like to me right now.’

 

Advertising company WPP’s chief executive Mark Read told BBC News: ‘We’re never going to go back to working the way we used to work.’

He said his employees are only in the office one or two days per week.

Meanwhile, insurance firm Aviva said 95 per cent of its 16,000-strong work force want to be flexible about where they work.

Recruiter Adecco said four-fifths of its 34,000 employees are working from home. 

JP Morgan has had some staff back in the office from March 29. Investor Rathbones is operating at 25 per cent capacity with staff allowed to come back ‘if they wish’.

It was yesterday revealed that Google and KPMG plan to let staff work from home. 

Accounting firm KPMG told its 16,000 UK staff on Wednesday that they will work in the office for up to four days in a fortnight starting next month under a hybrid working model drawn up following the recent decline in British Covid cases.

And US tech giant Google revealed plans to allow 20 per cent of its 140,000 employees to permanently work from home starting September 1. 

The company had originally plan to have all of its employees return to work at its offices at least three times a week. 

A spokesperson for Google said that starting in September, the company will also transition to a ‘hybrid model’ with a majority of employees required in the office for at least three days per week.  

According to an email circulated by CEO Sundar Pichai, around 60 per cent of Google employees are expected in the office each week while another 20 per cent will be assigned to new office locations.

The remaining 20 per cent will be permitted to work from home full-time. 

‘Before the pandemic, we had thousands of people working in locations separate from their core teams,’ Pichai wrote to his work force of more than 140,000 employees on Wednesday.

‘I fully expect those numbers to increase in the coming months as we develop more remote roles, including fully all-remote sub teams.’

Pichai wrote that the company will offer more details next month on how employees who are interested in requesting to work from home on a permanent basis can request to do so.  

KPMG spokeswoman Zoe Sheppard said in an emailed statement: ‘As part of the firm’s new hybrid way of working, from June onwards, the expectation will be that KPMG’s people spend up to four days in the office spread over a fortnight, with the rest spent at home or at client sites.’

KPMG UK head Bill Michael resigned in February after reports that he told staff to ‘stop moaning’ about the impact of Covid-19 on their lives. He was replaced by Jon Holt.

Insurance firm Aviva (its London HQ pictured) said 95 per cent of its 16,000-strong work force want to be flexible about where they work

Insurance firm Aviva (its London HQ pictured) said 95 per cent of its 16,000-strong work force want to be flexible about where they work

Advertising company WPP's chief executive Mark Read said: 'We're never going to go back to working the way we used to work.' He said his employees are only in the office one or two days per week. Pictured: WPP's London HQ pictured

Advertising company WPP’s chief executive Mark Read said: ‘We’re never going to go back to working the way we used to work.’ He said his employees are only in the office one or two days per week. Pictured: WPP’s London HQ pictured

US tech giant Google (its London HQ pictured) revealed plans to allow 20 per cent of its 140,000 employees to permanently work from home starting September 1

US tech giant Google (its London HQ pictured) revealed plans to allow 20 per cent of its 140,000 employees to permanently work from home starting September 1

KPMG unveils a TWO-day week in the office post-pandemic 

Accounting firm KPMG told its 16,000 UK staff on Wednesday that they will work in the office for up to four days in a fortnight starting next month under a hybrid working model drawn up following the recent decline in British Covid cases. 

KPMG spokeswoman Zoe Sheppard said in an emailed statement: ‘As part of the firm’s new hybrid way of working, from June onwards, the expectation will be that KPMG’s people spend up to four days in the office spread over a fortnight, with the rest spent at home or at client sites.’

KPMG UK head Bill Michael resigned in February after reports that he told staff to ‘stop moaning’ about the impact of Covid-19 on their lives. He was replaced by Jon Holt. 

Sheppard said the hybrid plan was drawn up incorporating feedback from staff.

Sheppard said the hybrid plan was drawn up incorporating feedback from staff.

On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs Group Inc asked U.S.-based employees to return to working in the office by mid-June and in the United Kingdom to return by mid-July.

JP Morgan said last week it was targeting U.S. workers’ return to office on a rotational basis from July.

Some 36% of employees in Britain did at least some work from home last year as the coronavirus outbreak closed many workplaces, a jump from around 26% in 2019, the country’s statistics office said in April.  

Google will also adjust employees’ pay based on their work locations, according to Pichai. 

It comes after the tech giant had initially announced that employees could start returning to the office last month but staff would be required to come back by September.  

Tech giants, including Google, were among the first to send employees home when the coronavirus began to spread widely in the United States more than a year ago. 

Even before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, Google and many other prominent tech firms had been telling their employees to work from home. 

Google had originally planned to allow a significant number of employees to begin returning to its Mountain View, California, headquarters and other offices during the summer of 2020. 

But the pandemic’s ongoing spread pushed back the company’s reopening.

Google’s biggest offices have been largely unoccupied. 

Google is walking back its original plan to have all of its employees return to work at its offices at least three times a week. Pictured: Google's London headquarters

Google is walking back its original plan to have all of its employees return to work at its offices at least three times a week. Pictured: Google’s London headquarters

According to an email circulated by Pichai, around 60 per cent of Google employees are expected in the office each week while another 20 per cent will be assigned to new office locations. The image above shows Google's corporate office in New York City on April 13

According to an email circulated by Pichai, around 60 per cent of Google employees are expected in the office each week while another 20 per cent will be assigned to new office locations. The image above shows Google’s corporate office in New York City on April 13

Accounting firm KPMG told its 16,000 UK staff on Wednesday that they will work in the office for up to four days in a fortnight starting next month under a hybrid working model drawn up following the recent decline in British Covid cases (pictured: KPMG's London headquarters)

Accounting firm KPMG told its 16,000 UK staff on Wednesday that they will work in the office for up to four days in a fortnight starting next month under a hybrid working model drawn up following the recent decline in British Covid cases (pictured: KPMG’s London headquarters) 

Meanwhile, Amazon confirmed that the company still plans to have its employees return to the office by fall. The image above shows the company's offices in Seattle

Meanwhile, Amazon confirmed that the company still plans to have its employees return to the office by fall. The image above shows the company’s offices in Seattle

The decision affected more than 123,000 employees on the payroll of Google and other Alphabet companies, as well as 80,000 contractors that normally work on the companies’ campuses. 

Meanwhile, Amazon confirmed that the company still plans to have its employees return to the office by fall.

The company had previously given its return-to-office date as June 30, but questions remained as to whether the company would allow some of its 60,000 Seattle-area office employees to continue working from home part time.

‘Our plan is to return to an office-centric culture as our baseline,’ Amazon said. 

‘We believe it enables us to invent, collaborate, and learn together most effectively.’ 

Amazon will not require office workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before they return, but the company is encouraging employees and contractors to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, according to Amazon spokesperson Jose Negrete.

Google’s decision last year prompted other tech giants to follow its lead with companies like Facebook also telling employees that they should plan to work remotely until 2021. 

At the time, Amazon and Microsoft both said their employees should expect to stay home until at least October 2021.

But as COVID-19 vaccinations roll out across the country, tech giants have started announcing plans to allow employees to come back to work.   

Microsoft began bringing workers back to its suburban Seattle global headquarters on March 29. The 2014 file image above shows the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington

Microsoft began bringing workers back to its suburban Seattle global headquarters on March 29. The 2014 file image above shows the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington

Facebook plans to reopen its offices in the San Francisco Bay Area at 10 per cent capacity this month. 

Facebook, Twitter and Square had previously said they’d be allowing employees to work from home permanently, which led to the development of remote or hybrid working structures.   

Microsoft began bringing workers back to its suburban Seattle global headquarters on March 29.

In a post on the company’s corporate blog, Executive Vice President Kurt DelBene said Microsoft has been monitoring local health data and decided it can bring more employees back to its Redmond, Washington campus.

DelBene said workers will have the choice to return to headquarters, continue working remotely or do a combination of both. 

More than 50,000 people work at the company’s headquarters campus in Redmond, 15 miles east of Seattle.    


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