Flexible working move means Rio Tinto staff must clear desks

Employees at international mining giant Rio Tinto have been told to clear their desks, not because they are being sacked, but in a flexible working drive.

About 550 staff at the firm’s London head office have traded in their PCs for laptops and must empty their desk tops daily to help maintain the mobile working approach, leaving only pictures hung with magnets on the walls.

Neil Usher, general manager of group property at Rio Tinto, said the policy on clearing desks ensured staff truly embraced the notion offlexible working.

“It means employees from around the world can sit down in the London office and still feel at home, and also that it’s easy to move entire departments around the building without much hassle,” he told Personnel Today.

Usher added that although the open-plan design had no private offices, sound-proof meeting rooms and quiet-working capsules were available.

The firm intends to extend the design and flexible working approach to its offices in the USA, Canada and Australia throughout the year.

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