NATIONWIDE is telling its 13,000 office staff they can do their jobs from anywhere in the country.

The building society – which employs around 1,200 people locally – found 57 per cent of staff wanted to work from home.

A survey of its workers found only six per cent wanted to work in an office five days a week, while 36 per cent wanted a blend of home and office work.

It is introducing a “work anywhere” approach, which it said was based on how people could do their best work rather than where they were sited.

Nearly a third of staff said they were better at prioritising decisions in the interests of members by working from home.

Nationwide has no plans for job losses or branch closures

The new policy could mean hundreds fewer people in the society’s administration centre at Portman House in Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, at any one time.

Chief executive Joe Garner said: “The last year has taught many of us that ‘how’ we do our jobs is much more important than ‘where’ we do them from.

“We have listened and learned, and we are now deciding to move forward, not back. We are putting our employees in control of where they work from, inviting them to ‘locate for their day’ depending on what they need to achieve.

“Our data suggests that working in a home environment encourages us to think more about the impact on others when making decisions. As a member-owned organisation, we encourage a focus on humanity, while embracing technology. We are also continuing to invest in some of our office space to foster social contact, collaboration and creativity.”

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The society is disposing of three leased office sites in Swindon but keeping its Swindon headquarters, as well as its administration centres in Bournemouth, Northampton and the recently opened Post Building in London.

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The society said flexible working was more difficult for branch staff and it was working with them to understand how they could better manage their working day around their home lives. It is trialling an initiative where previously office-based staff work alongside branch teams.

Nationwide teamed up with Ipsos MORI to launch a Future of Work report, to better understand the impact of the pandemic and the opportunities it has opened up.

It convened some of the UK’s biggest organisations to share views on the issue, including Accenture, American Express, IBM, Kingfisher, NatWest Group, the NHS and Visa.

The report revealed that nine out of 10 of those working from home wanted to continue doing so at least one day a week, with 60 per cent saying it gave them a better work-life balance. However, 43 per cent of remote workers said they needed face-to-face time with colleagues to do their job effectively.