QBE plans hybrid working future, but London office important for the insurer

·1-min read
QBE’s office on Fenchurch Street (QBE)
QBE’s office on Fenchurch Street (QBE)

QBE has said having offices close to the Lloyd’s building remains “vital” for its firm, but the insurer plans to fully embrace hybrid working post-pandemic for its team of over 1000 people in London.

Australian-listed QBE is among companies to have had UK staff working from home for much of the last 15 months in line with government guidance.

Pre-Covid there were around 1260 employees at its offices in Fenchurch Street and Canary Wharf.

Once lockdown restrictions ease, QBE envisages staff taking up the option to work flexibly, expecting many will choose to work in the office between one to three days a week.

Emma Higgins, chief human resources officer at QBE, told the Evening Standard: “There are no fixed rules, it is all about providing the right guidance. The office is very important for us, but there will be a much more flexible approach [going forward].”

Higgins added that there are no plans to reduce office space, and for some of the group’s product lines “it is vital” to be close to the large Lloyd’s of London underwriting room.

Higgins said employees had worked well remotely, but workspaces in town are useful for “collaboration, creativity, social connections” and meetings with customers.

Other firms that have said they plan to offer hybrid working include Experian and PWC.

Some bosses are looking to reduce office sizes, while others are hunting for the most modern and high quality workspace.

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