Bank of Ireland is one of the latest companies to announce a long-term shift to hybrid working. The new model will allow staff to combine working from home with working in central office locations.
The bank plans to launch a network of 11 remote working hubs by the end of the year. According to RTÉ, four of these hubs in Gorey, Mullingar, Dundalk and Naas were already in operation before 2020. Two new hubs in Balbriggan and Northern Cross have finished development and five more are planned for Swords, Blanchardstown, Santry, Newbridge and Newlands Cross.
Bank Of Ireland said that by early 2020, 3,500 staff members were already working with some flexibility. The pandemic has accelerated its shift to new ways of working, however, and it developed the new model with input from its employees. It carried out two surveys in May and December last year, in which more than three-quarters of staff said they would prefer to work from home between 25pc and 75pc of their week.
Matt Elliott, the bank’s chief people officer, said that rethinking the traditional office model has been a key part of the company’s vision for the future.
“Things won’t go back to how they were at the start of 2020,” he said. “We are going to see less of the old way of doing things, like travelling through rush hour to do something at the office that could easily have been done from home.
“Our network of remote working hubs will provide a real alternative to time and energy-sapping commutes. The central office still has an important but different role to play, with large office buildings being redesigned to facilitate meetings and collaboration.”
He added that a hybrid model will help more jobseekers living around the country and outside urban areas to apply for roles at the bank.
“Ultimately, it offers much more flexibility and choice, blending home and office working with less commuting time and cost and a greater work-life balance.”
To help employees continue to work from home, Bank of Ireland will provide equipment that meets safety and ergonomic requirements and will keep investing in digital tools.
Earlier this week, Salesforce also announced further details of its hybrid working model. The company said it will be extending its work-from-home option until at least the end of 2021, but some staff will gradually be returning to offices on a hybrid basis.
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