BP office staff to spend 40% of week working from home

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Employees at BP will be asked to spend 40% of their week working from home after lockdown restrictions are lifted, as part of a shift towards more flexible working patterns.

The oil giant’s 25,000 office-based employees have been told that the new hybrid working model – “BP work/life” – will offer individuals and teams a more “flexible, engaging and dynamic” way of working.

Most will be asked to work from home 40% of the time, or three days a week for full-time employees. It is part of plans to make BP a more “focused and integrated, leaner and flatter organisation”.

The company employs 6,000 office staff in the UK, including more than 2,000 in central London. Last summer it revealed plans to cut 10,000 jobs globally due to a global decline in demand for oil, with around 2,000 to be lost in the UK.

BP expects to sell its headquarters at London’s St James’s Square.

BP said in a statement: “Over the past year, we have learnt how effectively people can work remotely, but also the importance of collaboration and innovation and how this is still most effective face-to-face.

“For the great majority of office-based workers across BP this will balance time spent working together in the office with time working remotely at home or at other locations. For most this will likely be an approximately 60:40 workplace:home split – with full-time employees typically in the office three days a week.”

Teams, managers and individuals will work together to decide the working arrangements that would best suit their needs.

“Some roles will require people to be in the office or their prime location every day, and some roles will require greater travel or connecting digitally with colleagues, with less time in the office. There may also be some colleagues who prefer working in the office more,” the statement continued.

“We will be changing and reconfiguring our offices over time to support and facilitate more collaboration and teamwork, creating more flexible and dynamic environments to share ideas, hold meetings and work together.”

Government guidance to work from home where possible remains in place, with it not yet known when a return to the office will be permitted. Most organisations are working to an expected return date of 21 June, which is when the government expects all restrictions on social contact will be lifted.

A report published by virtual team-building company Wildgoose last month revealed that home working has exacerbated the “always on” culture, with 55% of people struggling to keep their workload within working hours. Almost a third said home working had directly affected their mental health.

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