Bank of Ireland is to move to a new hybrid working model that will allow employees to work from a combination of central office and remote locations, and includes a wider number of remote working hubs around the country.
The financial institution said surveys of employees revealed 91 per cent preferred a more flexible way of working post-Covid.
At the beginning of 2020, some 3,500 employees at Bank of Ireland were working with some degree of flexibility; the pandemic has accelerated that process.
Last month it was revealed Bank of Ireland would quit its leased headquarters on Mespil Road in Dublin 4 later this year as it continues to reduce its central Dublin office footprint to cut costs and prepare for a proportion of its staff continuing to work remotely after the pandemic.
Under the new working model office space will primarily be used for for meetings, collaboration and building connections.
"Rethinking the traditional office model has been a key part of our vision for the future of work at Bank of Ireland. Through that work we've been changing what it is like to work at the bank for a number of years," said Matt Elliott, Bank of Ireland's chief people officer.
“Covid-19 has accelerated that change. Things won’t go back to how they were at the start of 2020. We are going to see less of the old way of doing things, like travelling through rush hour to do something at the office that could easily have been done from home.”
Bank of Ireland is putting in place a number of supports for those who want to work from home, and by the end of 2021 a network of 11 remote working hubs will be designated for those who want to work outside the office.
The bank already had four hubs at Gorey, Mullingar, Dundalk and Naas in operation pre-2020, with two new hub locations at Balbriggan and Northern Cross also open for use.
Five more located in Swords, Blanchardstown, Santry, Newbridge and Newlands Cross will be open by the end of the year.
In the UK two agile hubs are under development in Bow Bells House, London, and at Solihull near Birmingham, and two more are planned for Donegal Square South in Belfast and Temple Quay, Bristol.
“Our network of remote working hubs will provide a real alternative to time and energy-sapping commutes. The central office still has an important but different role to play – with large office buildings being redesigned to facilitate meetings and collaboration,” Mr Elliott said.
“The introduction of a hybrid model also increases accessibility to employees or applicants for roles based around the country and outside urban centres and to those who have caring responsibilities in the home.
“Ultimately it offers much more flexibility and choice, blending home and office working with less commuting time and cost, and a greater work-life balance.”