Standard Chartered will make permanent the flexible working arrangements for most employees that were put in place during the coronavirus pandemic, it said on Thursday.
The Asia, Africa and Middle East-focused bank said it aims for around 50% of its markets, comprising around 70% or 60,000 of its employees, to be able to adopt hybrid working patterns by the end of 2021.
That would mean those staff can choose to work entirely at home, entirely in offices or a mix of both. The bank said it aims for 90% of its staff to be offered flexible working by 2023, albeit some will have to work full-time in offices given the nature of their roles.
The move by StanChart to formalise flexible working habits is one of the most concrete signs yet from a major bank of how lenders are moving swiftly to adopt new ways of working forced on them by the pandemic.
With technology platforms making working from home more effective than many lenders had anticipated, they are taking advantage of the opportunity to cut costs on expensive city real estate and support staff who prefer such arrangements.