Lloyds Bank orders staff to return to the office ‘at least’ two days a week

A booming mortgage market and an economic recovery that made it less likely that Covid-hit borrowers would default on loans helped Lloyds Banking Group double its profits in the three months to September.

Hybrid workers will have to spend at least two days a week in the office, Lloyds Banking Group has told staff, with “card swipe data” used to monitor their return.

Lloyds banking group’s decision to change its working from home policy was announced in a note from chief executive Charlie Nunn yesterday – as first reported by the Financial Times.

Swipe data will be shared with senior leadership teams, and in cases where staff are unwilling to increase the number of days they spend in the office, managers may have “more formal conversations” about their role, according to the note.

“This is about performance, supporting each other and creating equity,” Nunn said in the note. “We want flexible working to be fair, inclusive and productive for all.”

He also confirmed the bank would run pilot schemes in the coming months examining its approach to “compressed working”, in which staff work full-time hours but over fewer days.

The changes will apply to office-based staff working on a hybrid model, with exceptions made for workers with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

The “vast majority” are expected to change by September, although the note said that the bank would be asking colleagues to shift “as soon as they can”.

Posts on Lloyds’ internal messaging boards reveal thousands of responses, with some staff voicing frustration over the cost of commuting, worries that it will advantage those with shorter journeys to work and the expectation that staff should spend at least two days in an office even if their team is spread geographically.

Lloyds argued that the announcement “brings clarity on our hybrid approach moving forward and will enable us to continue to best meet the evolving needs of our customers”, and that its hybrid approach to work had been in place since 2021.

The bank is the latest financial institution to demand employees work back in the office at least a few days a week.

In a message entitled ‘Working Together’ sent to employees on 30 March, senior executive vice president Roman Regelman said “the number of days flex employees are expected to be in the office will change to a minimum of three days per week. Those who are not adhering to the three-day policy are subject to corrective action.”