Bank of England tells staff to come into the office one day a week

However, COO Joanne Place warns that the "pull" of the office might be bigger than anticipated

The Bank of England will only require its employees to work in the office for one day a week from September, its chief operating officer (COO) has announced. 

In a speech given to the Innovation Association, Joanne Place said that she expected staff to eventually return to a hybrid model of three to four days a week, but added that it would take time until that could be achieved. 

The announcement is in stark contrast to plans by other banks in the Square Mile that have sought to bring workers back in for more days per week and, in some cases, end working from home completely. On Monday, the prime minister, Boris Johnson said that the government was scrapping its guidance on remote work as it was now up to employees and employers to "work out for themselves". 

"In addition to asking everyone to work for at least one day per week in the office from September, the guidelines encourage teams to have regular 'team days', where staff are encouraged to engage in collaborative work and on building social capital," Place said in the speech. 

"We anticipate that the number of staff in our buildings will increase over time and that - in accordance with a recent study of the personal preferences of Bank staff - staff will average about three to four days in the office and around one to two days from home. My own personal view is that the pull of the office might be a bit bigger than we anticipate."

Place said that the bank had told its staff this information via an 'infographic' that compromised four main guidelines: 'Team first', 'Include everyone', 'Be flexible' and 'Get together'. The aim is for leaders to encourage work flexibility while maintaining an equal contribution from all, no matter where they reside.

The Bank of England also wants to encourage teams to have regular collaboration days in the office, though working from home is the current preferred status. 

"Our aim is that this flexibility will better allow us to deliver our Mission, creating time for onsite collaboration but also allowing colleagues the flexibility which can improve our employment offering (flexibility is consistently listed as a strength of the Bank by our new joiners), as well as saving significant commuting time," Place said.

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