The Bank of England will ask its workers to return to the office for one day per week from September.
Most of the Bank’s staff have worked from home since the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, with only 5 per cent going into the office, because their roles demanded it.
Government recommendations to work from home, if possible, will lift on 19 July along with the rest of England’s coronavirus lockdown rules.
But the Bank has found that most of its workers want to be able to continue logging on remotely at least twice a week, having become used to the system’s benefits.
Its chief operating officer, Joanna Place, said in a speech to the Investment Association: “The challenge – though daunting – is to learn from the many successes we have collected over the past year and use them as a springboard to build more effective, collaborative and flexible organisations.
“Our staff deserve as well as demand this. For example, a recent survey of Bank staff showed that the majority hope to work from home at least two days per week.
“In this spirit, the governors and I have established a set of trial guidelines – and which we are positioning as a pilot – which encourage more flexible working and only ask that our colleagues return to the office at least once per week for ‘team days’.”
Bosses will encourage their staff to hold collaborative working days where they are physically present, Ms Place said.
She added: “We anticipate that the number of staff in our buildings will increase over time and that – in accordance with a recent study of the personal preferences of Bank staff – staff will average about three or four days in the office and around one or two days from home.
“My own personal view is that the pull of the office might be a bit bigger than we anticipate.”
The Bank will structure its future flexible-working plan following in-depth consultation with its workers, including surveys, interviews and focus groups.
Last month, the auditing firm Deloitte said its 20,000 staff members would be able to work from home permanently, because “we can trust our people to make the right choice in when, how and where they work”.
At about the same time, Labour urged the government to make working from home a right. Angela Rayner, the party’s deputy leader, said the move would help people improve their work-life balance by spending less time commuting and more with their families.