HSBC will cut real estate by 20%; introduces mindfulness sessions for stressed homeworkers

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HSBC aims to cut its office space by 20% by the end of 2021, taking advantage of the trend towards working from home during the global pandemic to cut real estate costs.

In April, HSBC retired the executive floor of its Canary Wharf offices to make way for collaboration spaces and client meeting rooms in a post-pandemic economy. The move comes just weeks after the bank announced plans to move 1,200 of its call center employees to full-time contract jobs from home as part of a broader reassessment of its real estate needs.

Presenting the bank’s interim results for the first half of 2021, HSBC CEO Noel Quinn said: “We are moving towards a hybrid operating model wherever possible, which gives our employees the flexibility to work that suits them and their clients. We will need less as a result, we plan to reduce our global office space by more than 3.6 million square feet, or about 20%, by the end of 2021. ”

Quinn said the $ 8.4 billion six months after-tax profit has witnessed an increase in fatigue and anxiety among the bank’s employees as they adapt to the new work style.

“To help address this problem, we have provided various resources to support our people, including mindfulness training,” he says. “This is something that I continue to closely monitor, especially as our people adapt to our new hybrid working model.”

In May, the bank began pilot testing Friday afternoon classes without Zoom for UK staff to relieve the stress of endless virtual meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Quinn also said that $ 3 billion was spent on technology in the first half of the year, up four percent from the same period last year as the bank rolled out a series of new global remittance products and launched the new enterprise digital bank, Kinetic.

Quinn says more than 10,000 companies have already signed up to Kinetic, “benefiting from 15 minutes of online connectivity, the ability to apply for loan products with instant credit decisions, and a host of important ideas.
possibilities “.

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