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HSBC cuts executive space with switch to hybrid work, boss loses office

HSBC cuts executive space with switch to hybrid work, boss loses office


It’s not all a life of luxury for HSBC boss Noel Quinn. The CEO of the London-headquartered bank has announced that it will completely scrap the executive floor at its Canary Wharf headquarters – meaning that Quinn, among other of the bank’s bosses, will have to give up their private offices.

The development comes as HSBC forges ahead with its plan to reduce its office space by 40% in a post-pandemic overhaul.

Quinn said the entire bank was embracing hybrid working and that he would no longer come in to the office five days a week.

“My leadership team and I have moved to a fully open-plan floor with no designated desks,” he said on LinkedIn.

“I think it would be a missed opportunity if – having gone through so much change over the last 15 months – we just drift back to our old ways of working. Our people have told us they want more flexibility,” he added.

Senior managers at the banking giant have been situated on the 42nd floor of the building in east London in their own private offices.

But from now on they will be relocated to workspaces two floors down, while their old offices have been transformed into client meeting rooms and other communal spaces.

Other organisations are embracing hybrid working. Earlier this month, Standard Chartered changed its official work policy for employees after 84% requested to keep the flexible arrangements going. While the likes of Google and Microsoft have also embraced hybrid working.

HSBC is undergoing a major overhaul that will see 35,000 jobs cut and switch the bank’s focus to markets in Asia – where it makes most of its profit.

In terms of working arrangements, the bank is offering employees more flexibility. HSBC recently told more than 1200 workers at its UK call centres that they can permanently work from home.

In November last year, the bank allowed eligible employees in Hong Kong to work up to four days a week from home, pending their manager's approval.

Also read: HSBC Hong Kong employees can now work from home four days a week

“A minority of roles can be done wholly remotely. We estimate, though, that most of our roles could be done in a hybrid way – and that includes myself and the executive team of the bank,” Quinn said.

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