- 68% of respondents working from home, with the majority reporting that it’s working well.
- The majority of people working from home reported that senior managers have been entirely supportive.
Of those not working from home:
- 40% said more staff had been told to report for work in their offices than were needed to provide essential banking services.
- 40% said staff in their offices were doing jobs that they could definitely do from home.
- 56% said their offices wasn’t being cleaned properly.
- 45% said staff from their offices had been told to self-isolate because they had Covid-19 symptoms, but 79% said the office wasn’t deep cleaned afterwards.
- 30% said management had not arranged working areas so staff could follow the social distancing rules laid down by government.
Praise For The Head Offices
Thank you to the members who took the time to complete the survey. Without any doubt, the feedback from members in the majority of the head office locations has been positive. The managers in these areas have to quite rightly be praised for the steps that have been taken to protect staff but the position in these areas just further shine the spotlight on the fundamental failings in offices where staff still have to attend work and in the branch network.
Here’s some of the site-specific feedback; we received numerous responses from multiple sites, but we selected the feedback which most accurately summed up the general feeling:
Gresham Street, London – “Senior management were very supportive of working from home arrangements even before the government ‘lockdown’. They said if we felt uncomfortable or unsafe on our commute or in the office we could wfh.”
Red Lion Court, London – “Whereas I usually have a lot to complain about with senior and local management at LBG, in this case I have been very impressed with how they have handled the situation, being flexible with working hours to accommodate caring and other responsibilities, sourcing equipment and sharing wellbeing tips. I know that branches and other offices aren’t being treated as well, but I wanted to show that some areas at least are putting colleagues first.”
125 London Wall, London – “It’s working well and this has the full support of the senior leadership team. The bank has been very helpful in making sure as many of us and the whole team is WFH and we are being supported as to office equipment as well. Business Support Unit had comprehensive plans drawn up very quickly and in anticipation of what was likely to happen. Senior leaders have been excellent.”
Old Broad Street, London, COO Business Risk – “Everyone can work from home. No pressure. People changing hours to suit themselves and the business need. However I feel sorry for those in branches and feel they are not being supported.”
Brindleyplace, Birmingham – “New laptops were ordered and my whole team are working from home now.” and “The management have taken the Covid19 issue very seriously and were urgently chasing around for laptops/equipment to get all of us working from home. Super efficient.”
Atlantic Quay, Glasgow – “The majority of staff who can work from home are at home and have received laptops. When staff were on site, the social distancing rules were adhered to. The lifts were operating with one person at a time. Rest areas were spaced out and the cafe was closed down. People working were spaced away from each other.”
Canons House, Bristol – “Management have been great, really can’t complain. We’re able to work from home as we need to.”
Harbourside, Bristol – “Can’t fault Enterprise Data management’s handling of this situation. We trialled working from home before it became mandatory for all who could wfh. We have daily briefings to update us, colleagues with children are actively encouraged to take time out to homeschool them and everybody is working well together. Really impressive.”
Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh – “Customer & Business Risk, Insurance and Wealth – No complaints. Management has been excellent under the circumstances”
Centron House, Manchester – “Group Transformation have been very supportive. Increased comms and support for colleagues working from home. I have no issues with it.”
Sighthill, Edinburgh – “I work have told us to work from home and are 100% supportive and flexible. They understand we need to prioritise workload and drop non-essential activity. There seems always to be a disparity in how Head Office staff are treated compared to Retail colleagues.”
Haywards Heath, Risk – “In my area the support has been fantastic. We were working from a week ahead of government announcement to do so and have been well supported at home with logistics and well being checks.”
For those who still have to attend the office, the feedback is very similar to the branch network, as shown by the statistics at the beginning of this newsletter. Significant numbers reported that work was still being undertaken in the office, which could be undertaken at home. Cleaning, including deep cleans following suspected COVID-19 cases, is still below par in a significant number of areas and social distancing measures were reported as not being followed.
In Lovell Park (Leeds), staff have reported that the work layout means that people are not always sitting the required 2m apart when working at their computers.
In St Vincent Street (Glasgow) it was reported that social distancing was implemented late and was subsequently broken regularly by senior managers standing next to one another.
125 Colmore Row (Birmingham) was reported as “absolutely filthy”, with no deep cleaning. Numerous people have reported that social distancing is not being observed strictly enough.
In Pendeford (Wolverhampton), we understand that a member of staff was absent with coronavirus symptoms for 7 days; the person returned still showing symptoms and was sent home, but the area was not cleaned and someone was told to sit at the desk the next day. We’ve also been told that staff are still seated next to each other. Some staff have been given laptops, but are still working from the office.
Despite the earlier positive feedback on Brindleyplace, it was reported that the office was not deep cleaned after two members of staff had to self-isolate with COVID-19 symptoms.
In City Park (Hove) members have reported that initially staff were given no instruction on social distancing and had to measure out distances themselves. We’re told the senior management seemed to disappear (working from home), leaving more junior staff and their managers to get on with it. On the positive side, staff were apparently told that those who felt at risk could go home, but most wanted to stay, albeit in a safe and clean environment. Limited cleaning efforts have been undertaken and at the time the feedback was received, the laptops which had been promised to enable home working had still not arrived.
Sort It Out, Now!
There’s absolutely no excuse for managers not being aware of the importance of social distancing and cleanliness in the workplace and doing something about it; failings can only be put down to either laziness, incompetence or, one has to say, direction or lack of direction from above. The senior managers who have done such a good job with people in Gresham Street need to get a grip in the offices which are failing to adhere to the rules. As I’ve said before, you only have to look at the photos of the newly constructed Nightingale Hospital to see what is potentially upon us. The Bank has a duty of care to every single member of staff; it has the means and the resources to ensure all staff are adequately protected and the bank’s top management need to get this sorted out. If necessary the Chief Executive needs to go to the offices himself and give the necessary instructions.
If the Bank is failing in your area, tell us so. The survey is still open so if you want to share your own feedback, please click the following link or paste it into your browser.
We’ll continue to report significant findings in newsletters so please do let us know if there is a problem in your area. Please do share our newsletters with others who may not otherwise see them. Tell people who are not members to join us and our campaign.
Alternatively, you can email us at email@example.com or the Advice Team can be contacted by telephone on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).
Our online COVID-19 Advice Hub can be accessed by clicking here.