Standard Chartered Hong Kong is reportedly planning to terminate its lease on eight floors of its headquarters in Central and rent out three floors of its Kwun Tong office. The bank's spokesperson declined to comment.
Hang Lung Properties, which owns the Standard Chartered Bank Building in Central, reaffirmed that Standard Chartered is still the building's biggest tenant.
Its withdrawal ostensibly stemmed from its hybrid working arrangement announced in November 2020. Starting early this year, some employees in Hong Kong can apply for a "formal flexi-working arrangement" where they can select the number of working hours or days and their working location.
The model will be executed in several phrases. In phase one, approximately 54% of the bank’s total employee population will be given the option. In subsequent phases, the goal is to implement flexi-working options across at least 70% of the bank and 50% of its markets by the end of 2021 (approximately 60,000 employees across 30 markets) and achieve 90% coverage across both by 2023.
Standard Chartered expects the majority of the employees will spend days both in office and at home, while some employees will work in one location most of the time.
Tanuj Kapilashrami, the bank's group head for human resources, commented back in November: “While we have been thinking through the issues around future workplace for some time, it’s inevitable that recent events provided a catalyst. We are also very conscious that all our markets are at different points as far as the pandemic is concerned and what that means for where they work. It’s for that reason we are focused on both listening to our employees and being data led in what is required to perform each role.
“We are excited about the future as we step into a new era for the bank and the positive impact we can make on our productivity, wellbeing and carbon footprint. We also see this as an opportunity to appeal to a wider and more diverse potential future workforce.”