Lloyds Banking Group has told staff carrying out hybrid working that they will have to spend at least two days a week in the office, with “card swipe data” used to monitor their return.
The bank’s decision to change its policy for staff working from home and office was announced in a note from chief executive Charlie Nunn on Thursday seen by the Financial Times.
“This is about performance, supporting each other and creating equity,” Nunn said in the note. “We want flexible working to be fair, inclusive and productive for all.”
The changes will apply to office-based staff working on a hybrid model, with exceptions such as for those with disabilities or long-term health conditions. The “vast majority” are expected to change by September 1, although the note said that the bank would be asking colleagues to shift “as soon as they can”.
Data on the “journey” will be shared with senior leadership teams. And in cases where staff are unwilling to increase the number of days they spend in the office, managers may have “more formal conversation[s]” about the requirements and expectations of their role, according to the note.
According to posts on Lloyds’ internal messaging boards there have been thousands of responses, with some staff voicing frustration over issues including the cost of commuting, worries that it will advantage those with shorter journeys to work and the expectation that staff should spend at least two days in an office even if their team is spread geographically.
Lloyds said that “today’s announcement brings clarity on our hybrid approach moving forward and will enable us to continue to best meet the evolving needs of our customers”, adding that its hybrid approach to work had been in place since 2021.
The end of lockdowns and the shift to hybrid working has created a divergence between companies in the City of London, with some demanding that staff come into the office several days a week and others granting staff far greater freedom to choose when they work from home.
Nunn said the bank would run pilot schemes in the coming months examining its approach to “compressed working”, in which staff work full-time hours but over fewer days.
Digital bank Atom became the first lender to move to a four-day working week for the majority of its staff at the start of November 2021.