- HSBC staff in Hong Kong can choose to work up to four days a week from home, per an internal staff memo seen by Bloomberg.
- The banking giant has given staff three options: working primarily from home, primarily in the office, or full-time in the office, per Bloomberg.
- HSBC is based in London, but has around 30,000 staff in Hong Kong, where it generates more than half of its profits.
- In February, HSBC announced plans to cut $4.5 billion in costs by 2022.
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Banking giant HSBC has told its 30,000 staff in Hong Kong that they can now work up to four days a week from home, according to an internal staff memo.
The banking giant told staff they had three options, per Bloomberg.
“Flexible home workers” would work primarily remotely, spending up to four days a week at home.
“Flexible office workers,” conversely, work primarily in the office, but can work up to two days a week from home.
Staff can also choose to be permanently office-based.
Staff who commit to working two or more days a week from home for at least one year can receive a one-off allowance of 2,500 Hong Kong dollars ($322) for remote working purchases, the memo said.
HSBC is based in London, but it makes more than half of its profits in Hong Kong, where it has around 30,000 staff.
Office life in Hong Kong has returned to relative normality, and COVID-19 cases are low.
The news came as a survey found that around one in four office workers want to work from home full-time after the COVID-19 pandemic. A similar proportion want to be solely office-based, and around half of workers want a hybrid approach, the survey by JLL found.
In the memo to staff, HSCBC said the company is “constantly looking to develop overall flexibility in how we work.”
“In recent employee exchanges and surveys, some of you have expressed an interest in a blend of in-office and home working,” it said, per Bloomberg.
A shift to remote working could reduce office costs, Ewen Stevenson, the bank’s chief financial officer, told Bloomberg in an interview in October.
He explained that the lender was looking at introducing “more of a hybrid model” for some of its 230,000 staff, with more options for working from home.
In February, HSBC announced plans to cut $4.5 billion in costs by 2022, including axing around 35,000 jobs.
Read more: Wall Street job cuts are back — here’s the latest on what Goldman Sachs and other big banks are doing
Last week, researchers at Deutsche Bank, which is exploring a “hybrid” model for its staff, called for a 5% “privilege” tax on people choosing to work from home. The income would then be used to support people on low incomes who cannot do their jobs remotely.
An average worker would not be worse off if they paid the tax, researchers explained, because they are saving money on travel, food, and clothes by working remotely.
The Dutch finance institution NIBUD, meanwhile, has urged companies to pay staff around 2 euros ($2.36) extra per day to cover working-from-home expenses like coffee, toilet paper, and energy bills. Civil servants in the country are now paid an extra 363 euros ($428) a year for working from home.