HSBC scraps executive floor in switch to hot desking
HSBC boss Noel Quinn has scrapped the executive floor at the bank's London headquarters, forcing top managers to hotdesk as the bank adapts to post-pandemic working practices, the Financial Times reported.
Executives have been kicked out of their offices on the 42nd floor of the Canary Wharf skyscraper to make way for client meeting rooms and collaborative spaces. Now HSBC bosses, including Quinn, hot desk on an open-plan floor two levels down.
"Our offices were empty half the time because we were travelling around the world. That was a real waste of real estate," Quinn told the FT. "If I'm asking our colleagues to change the way that they're working, then it's only right that we change the way we're working."
Quinn said he wouldn't be in the office five days a week and a designated desk was unnecessary. More changes are coming as the bank shifts to hybrid working including letting city centre office leases to lapse in the next few years, he said. He is planning to cut 40% of global head office costs to help save $5.5bn a year.
HSBC is one of many companies rethinking working practices and office space in light of changes wrought by the pandemic. More than 1,200 of HSBC's UK call centre staff, about 70% of the total, have volunteered to work from home permanently.
Nationwide Building Society has allowed 13,000 office-based to work wherever they choose after more than half said they did not want to return after lockdown. By contrast, David Solomon, Goldman Sachs's chief executive, has said working from home is an "aberration".