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Future of Work

Working from home some of the time, or hybrid working, will become “the norm” for many companies after the pandemic, says global workspace provider IWG. Firms will be looking to save money and be more environment-friendly by using less office space, said IWG chief executive Mark Dixon.

IWG said 2020 had been a “challenging” year as fewer firms rented its offices. But it said it was ready to take advantage of “accelerating demand” for hybrid working.

“Something’s happening and it is a change to the way that companies and people work,” Mr Dixon told the BBC’s Today programme.

The coronavirus crisis hit IWG hard, with waning demand for its services leading to a pre-tax loss of £620m last year, according to newly released results. But Mr Dixon pointed to big new deals with major companies as evidence that the company was turning the corner.

On Monday, IWG signed up its biggest customer to date, securing a three-year agreement with Japanese telecoms group NTT to give its 300,000 employees access to IWG’s office network. Under the terms of the deal, NTT staff will be able to work at any of the 3,300 offices owned by IWG.

In another agreement, Standard Chartered bank’s 95,000 staff were recently given access to IWG offices for the next 12 months on a trial basis. Mr Dixon said companies were keen to shed some of their office space and use third-party facilities instead, often closer to where staff actually live.

“It works for companies, because it’s a lot cheaper,” he said. “It’s also much, much better for the environment,” he added, as it enabled workers to cut back on commuting.

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