Blue-blooded fund manager Schroders is to allow thousands of staff to permanently work from home in a radical overhaul of its rules, as the City abandons the traditional nine-to-five shift.
The FTSE 100 investment business has become the first major London institution to tell workers they will no longer be required to come into the office, even after the Covid pandemic has passed.
Sources said the firm does not expect a return to working life as generations of professionals have previously known it, with far more flexibility over where and when employees do their jobs.
The new rules – unveiled in an internal message to staff and documents on the company’s intranet – could prompt a wave of rivals to follow suit.
They are also likely to raise fresh fears in Whitehall that the changes triggered by coronavirus will become permanent, with potentially disastrous consequences for city centres turned into ghost towns. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey last month urged companies to reopen their offices for the good of the British economy.
One Schroders insider said: “Staff have been told the firm will not go back to nine-to-five.”
Another added that the change will end the presenteeism which has long been an issue in finance, with employees across the industry known for putting in shifts of 12 hours or longer.