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29 March 2021
Unsplash © Marga Santoso

What you need to know about Rishi Sunak and WFH

Every week, Maddyness curates articles from other outlets on a topic that is driving the headlines. This week, we look at the latest takes on working from home – in line with Rishi’s suggestion staff might quit if they can’t go back to the office.

People may quit if forced to work from home, Rishi Sunak warns

The chancellor has warned bosses that staff may quit if they are not allowed to work from the office as the UK emerges from lockdown.Rishi Sunak told the Telegraph that employees would “vote with their feet” and could consider leaving for a rival if made to work from home full time. A number of companies have announced plans to close offices prompting fears for city centres.But now the chancellor has urged firms not to abandon the office altogether. Read the full article via the BBC.

Why Rishi Sunak’s defence of the office doesn’t stack up

Workers will “vote with their feet” if they can’t return to offices, Rishi Sunak has warned in an interview with the Telegraph’s Lucy Fisher, in which he defended office-working as helping to enable “meetings that happen by chance”, “people riffing off each other” and so on.

My unpopular opinion is that the Chancellor has a point: there are advantages to a degree of in-person working that can’t be replicated remotely, particularly if you work in a collaborative or creative industry. Read the full article via the New Statesman

WFH wars: the looming battles over going back to the office

More than a year after the pandemic forced workers into spare rooms and kitchen tables, companies are gearing up for a future of hybrid working as the five-day commuting slog gives way to the “age of the three and two”. As employers start to encourage their staff to resume commuting, experts fear a “diversity timebomb” as home workers miss out on promotions. Read the full article via The Telegraph.

Nationwide says 13,000 staff can work from home even after the pandemic

Nationwide said its 13,000 office-based employees can do their jobs from anywhere in the UK even after the pandemic is over. It’s not the first financial institution in the UK to do this. HSBC earlier said it plans to radically slash its office footprint in the coming years as it cuts staff and moves to an “agile” way of working post-COVID. And Lloyds Bank is set to reduce its office space by a fifth as part of a push towards flexible working. Read the full article via Yahoo! News. 

Our research shows working from home works, in moderation

Companies big and small are plotting their post-pandemic working futures, and it seems likely that ever fewer of us will fully return to the office as it was before. Research I have undertaken suggests there is a widespread appetite for a new paradigm – one that will have far-reaching implications for cities, businesses and people. Read the full article via The Guardian.