Investment firm Schroders has told staff they can work from home for ever if they choose to – so long as they work the hours set out in their contracts.
The 216-year-old company has unveiled ‘a new approach to flexible working’ that will scrap the previous requirement for employees to come into the office for at least four days a week.
The move will affect 2,500 British workers.
Chief executive Peter Harrison said Covid-19 had ‘changed society irrevocably’ and demonstrated that offices will be ‘a convening place where you get teams together’, but work will be done in employees’ homes.
The decision comes as accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed 60 per cent of its 22,000 UK staff could work some days each week from home.
Around 13,000 employees would split time between home and the company’s London offices or regional ‘hub’ offices under the new plans.
PwC chairman Kevin Ellis is encouraging workers to return to the office on a voluntary basis – but has also said the pandemic had ‘bashed away presenteeism for ever’.
Although unions and workers have praised the push for flexible working, fears are mounting that it will lay waste to London and the rest of the UK’s city centres.
Other groups drawing up plans include some employees who work at the insurance market Lloyd’s of London, who are understood to have been offered contracts that include remote working days.
Schroders rival Aviva Investors is mulling a ‘2-2-1’ approach, which would allow staff to work from home for two days, be in the office for two days and then choose what they do with the final day.