Tim Steiner’s Ocado provides delivery services for M&S, run by Steve Rowe, left (Pictures: Rex)
Employees of online grocer Ocado are being given a month to work wherever they want in the world every year.
The option allows them a potentially more glamorous makeshift office than a typical ‘work from home’ set up provides.
Staff requests to work internationally became a ‘top question’ over the pandemic and the offer of remote working for a month is in response to that, Ocado’s chief people officer Claire Ainscough said.
She hopes the offer will prove popular with staff who want to spent time with their families overseas but without using their annual leave.
Ocado’s chief executive Tim Steiner has already shown how such an arrangement can be beneficial, having spent large parts of the past 18 months working from his parents’ house in the Bahamas.
It gave him easier access to the US, where Ocado is building robotic warehouses in Cincinnati, Ohio, for American supermarkets chain Kroger, the Times reports.
Many businesses are torn between encouraging employees to return to the office and letting them have greater freedom to work at a place they find more convenient.
The Prime Minister paved the way for companies to get their staff back in a speech ahead of ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19.
Ocado handles deliveries for Marks & Spencer and runs its own online supermarket (Picture: Bloomberg/Getty)
More people are heading into the office now Covid restrictions have been lifted (Picture: AFP/Getty)
Boris Johnson said: ‘It will no longer be necessary for government to instruct people to work from home so employers will be able to start planning a safe return to the workplace.’
The change in government guidance went down well with Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon, who has been loudly championing the office.
He said: ‘I believe that bringing us together, forging the close bonds and supporting a culture of collaboration has renewed the sense of teamwork that allows our people and our business to thrive.’
But for many large firms the days of a five-day office week are over, including Unilever, which employs 150,000 people globally.
The manufacturing giant’s chief executive Alan Jope said he anticipates ‘never going back to’ such an arrangement.
A majority of employees plan to become hybrid workers in the post-pandemic world, spending just Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at work, a poll found.
It’s given a much-needed boost to city centre hotels which have noticed a rise in midweek bookings from commuting employees who have relocated to the countryside.
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