Travel agent Tui UK (TUI.L) has become the latest employer to permanently adopt "flexible" working, saying office staff will have to come in just one day a month.
Tui said on Tuesday it would continue offering office-based staff flexibility on where they work indefinitely following 16 months of largely remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new policy applies to around 3,000 of Tui's 10,000 UK staff. Cabin crew, pilots, engineers and some in-store retail staff will not benefit from the new rules.
White collar workers will be required to attend the office at least once a month in future but it will be up to them how little or often they chose to be in beyond that.
"The pandemic has allowed us as an organisation to take a step back and make necessary changes to the way we work, communicate and collaborate," said Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK & Ireland.
"We believe that this move to a permanent flexible way of working will enhance our culture and organisational productivity, as well as allowing our people to have a great work-life balance."
The company has created a new position of workspace director to help adapt to the flexible approach to working.
Belinda Vazquez, Tui's new workspace director, said: “At Tui we embrace the concept that work is something we do, not somewhere we go.
"We have listened to our employees in order to define a clear framework that ensures ultimate flexibility, whilst creating positive experiences that enable all colleagues to feel like they belong and are valued."
Tui is one of a number of businesses that have pledged to adapt flexible working even after the pandemic ends. Lloyds Bank (LLOY.L) and HSBC (HSBA.L) have both announced plans to sell offices as part of a shift to flexible working and Twitter (TWTR) has told all employees they can work from home forever.
Not everyone is keen on the idea, however. Investment banks such as Goldman Sachs (GS) and JP Morgan (JPM) have been encouraging staff back to the office, while politicians including chancellor Rishi Sunak are also keen to get staff back in the office. Some employers fear remote working will damage productivity, while politicians worry about the impact of working from home on inner-city economies.
Tui's announcement on flexible working comes as the UK is set to drop its work-from-home guidance next week on 19 July. Changes will apply in line with government policy.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated in the headline and article that Tui's new flexible working policy applied to 9,000 of the company's UK staff. The policy in fact covers around 3,000. Yahoo Finance UK apologises for the error, which was a result of miscommunication with the company.
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