Major Australian bank is ordering ALL 49,000 employees back to the office – and they’re not alone in banning working from home as the country wakes up from the Covid hangover
- Australia’s top bank ordered staff back to work
- The bank’s CEO sent an email to employees on Monday
- A global trend is making companies want staff back in the office
Another of Australia’s Big Four banks has ordered staff to return to the office in a decision that shows that the Covid era of workplace flexibility is rapidly coming to an end.
Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn told his 49,000-strong workforce in an email Monday that they must be physically present at the office at least 50 percent of the time from July.
The decision follows quickly on the heels of a decision by NAB chief executive Ross McEwan that all senior staff must return five days a week.
Mr McEwan’s decision was partly a result of what he said was the bank’s duty to revitalize cities and regional centers that have struggled with a lack of office workers.
Commonwealth Bank is the latest financial giant to advise staff to return to the office
In a statement, the Commonwealth Bank told Daily Mail Australia it was providing a “framework” for staff to return to the office
In a statement on Wednesday, the Commonwealth Bank confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that they were providing a “framework” for staff to return to the office.
“Our approach to hybrid working has always been about striking the right balance between our long-standing commitment to flexible working and ensuring we deliver the best outcomes for our customers,” the spokeswoman said.
“In recent years we have spent time testing different working models based on our own insights, regular feedback from our people and the lessons learned from other organisations.
“Based on these experiences, we recently raised the expectation that from mid-July our people in the office will have to be in the office for at least 50 percent of their working time during the month.
“This provides individual flexibility for where work is done for half of the working month, while also recognizing the important role the workplace plays in collaboration, innovation, well-being and career advancement.”
The bank said the move to the office was to continue to drive innovation, increase employee collaboration and improve face-to-face interactions.
CBA Group Executive of Human Resources Sian Lewis has previously told the Australian Financial Review that employees in the office are interacting with an additional 11 colleagues every day and are spending between 20 and 30 minutes more time collaborating with each other.
“Our people also spend 40 percent or more of their time interacting with their leader and colleagues in the office,” she said. ‘We have seen that innovation is a result of our people physically working together.’
Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn issued a staff memo this week
After announcing that senior staff will be required to return to the office, NAB CEO Ross McEwan said other employees are expected to increase their time in the office from one or two days to two or three days.
“I told the team it’s time to come back to the office for five days,” he said 9News.
“I’m one for flexibility, always have been, but we also need to make sure our people are properly trained and developed.”
Nicole Duncan, CEO of CR Commercial Real Estate Group, supported NAB’s decision.
“I think there’s a real need for CEOs to take the lead on this,” she said.
“The younger generation, the older generation – otherwise we will run out of leaders.”
However, companies have a battle if they want employees to return to the office full-time, and surveys consistently show Australians prefer a flexible approach to working.
And with unemployment remaining near low levels, many companies understand that employees will continue to determine how often they come to the office.