HSBC to shrink its office footprint amid shift to WFH

Europe’s largest bank exploring hybrid work-from-home model

HSBC COO John Hinshaw (Getty, iStock)
HSBC COO John Hinshaw (Getty, iStock)

HSBC is banking on remote work — and is shedding office space.

John Hinshaw, the group COO of Europe’s largest bank, said during HSBC’s fourth-quarter earnings call that the company will switch to a hybrid model where employees have the option to work from home, Bloomberg News reported.

As part of the switch, the bank is expected to reduce its real estate footprint by about 40 percent, the publication reported. While it’s expected to keep its headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf neighborhood, it will likely shed office space throughout the city as leases come up for renewal, according to CEO Noel Quinn.

About 85 percent of HSBC’s employees are now able to work from home.

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“We expect a change in the way we use our office space, recognizing the work-life balance and environmental benefits of hybrid working arrangements,” the bank said in its 2020 annual report.

Many other companies have come to a similar conclusion as the coronavirus pandemic hits the one-year mark. In recent weeks, Yelp and Salesforce announced they would let employees work remotely indefinitely following similar announcements from big tech firms including Facebook and Twitter.

In some cases, firms have looked to sublease their space as their needs have changed. Yelp, for example, is reportedly seeking a tenant for some of its office space in New York City as it re-evaluates its real estate needs.

[Bloomberg News] — Sasha Jones

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