BP considers reducing office space in favour of remote working
A major review by BP's senior leaders means that the global company could reduce their office spaces, which means shifting almost 50,000 of its employees to remote working and flexible workplace layouts.
The oil giant joins an increasing group of companies planning to sell off or not renewing their leases on their office spaces. The Covid-19 pandemic has seen employees around the world working from home, with many continuing to do so.
This enforced shift in working practices has opened up numerous possibilities and questions for companies on how to approach this new working dynamic. The Guardian newspaper reported that BP could reduce their workspace by 75% and over time, they could halve their workspace presence, representing a dramatic downsizing of their property portfolio in their 111-year history. It was reported that BP is likely to start setting out these plans in the coming months.
BP has 70,000 employees across 79 countries. Earlier this year, BP announced they were going to cut their workforce by 15% by the end of 2020, representing 10,000 jobs, that were mostly office-based. Workers will be able to continue remote working or office-based hot desking is an option.
The reinvention is part of the new plans set out by Bernard Looney, who took over as chief executive in February this year, who promised the company will be a "net zero carbon" company by 2050. He also seemed to give a nod of approval to working in a digital approach in a blog post on LinkedIn, by commenting:
"And as we return to our offices at bp we don’t plan to return to old ways of working. This should be a digital inflection point – we want to build on the digital progress we’ve made".
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