The firm stated it will be embracing a hybrid working approach, drastically reducing the amount of office space that staff occupy. 

HSBC has announced its intention to reduce the amount of office space used and, instead, adopt a hybrid approach to working.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Noel Quinn, Chief Executive of HSBC, stated that the offices were “empty half the time” which was a “waste of real estate”.

As such, the multinational bank has announced that executive offices, normally inhabited by senior managers, will now be utilised as communal spaces or client meeting rooms.

Instead, senior staff will be expected to partake in hot-desking on an open-plan floor. Mr. Quinn called this arrangement “the new reality of life” where colleagues will not have a designated desk and will instead be expected to “grab one in the morning”.

Mr. Quinn further shared his view that coming into the office five days a week was “unnecessary”.

This view significantly contradicts the stance of Goldman Sachs’ CEO, David Solomon, who called working from home an “aberration” that the company is looking to correct as soon as possible.

However, this sentiment was not shared by other firms within the financial sector, with many also choosing to adopt hybrid or flexible forms of working post-pandemic.

In addition to HSBC cutting 40 per cent of its office space after the pandemic, other banks such as Lloyd’s Banking Group said it would also be reducing office space down by a fifth (20 per cent) by 2023.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has recently also permitted staff to adopt flexible hours, allowing them to start or finish work whenever they like. Additionally, the accountancy firm stated that staff may finish at lunchtimes on Fridays during the months of July and August.

Nationwide Building Society has also announced it will be allowing its employees to work from home full-time, authorising them to “work anywhere”.

Chief Executive of Nationwide, Joe Garner, stated:

The last year has taught many of us that “how” we do our jobs is much more important than “where” we do them from.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.