Mirror, Express and Star publisher Reach is surveying staff on the future of working arrangements post-pandemic as it looks to become more “agile” and make savings on its portfolio of offices.
In the short term, staff have been advised to continue working from home if they can – in line with UK Government guidance as Covid-19 cases begin to climb again – until at least early 2021.
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Offices, including its headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf (pictured) will continue to be maintained as Covid-secure premises for those who need them, but the majority of staff, including journalists, have been staying at home.
Reach chief executive Jim Mullen told staff in an email: “Many of you I’m sure will be relieved we’re staying as we are, but equally I know it won’t be what many of you want to hear either.
“It is however simply the right thing to do.”
Longer term, the company, which is the largest commercial national and regional news publisher in the UK, is looking to create a more permanent change in its approach to working arrangements.
Mullen said there was an opportunity to “learn from our experience of the pandemic and think about a future way of working that’s optimal for our business and our people”.
“We want to challenge traditional ways of working and create an agile, efficient and inclusive working environment that helps us all be our best and work together as a team brilliantly,” he added.
A census of staff – Reach’s first – will ask staff for information “on current set-ups and living situations, and opinions on what good looks like for the future”, Mullen said. Dedicated focus groups will also be held.
“As part of this programme we’ll definitely be looking to make some savings on our office portfolio,” said Mullen, “but at the moment we don’t know what that looks like, and we’ll need to assess each of our existing offices on things like location, facilities and leases.”
He said that leases coming up for renewal are being considered on a case-by-case basis “considering the current uncertainty”.
Reach will announce its interim financial results on Monday.
Picture: Reuters/Russell Boyce