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Bank of England staff will stay working from home, Andrew Bailey says

·2-min read
andrew bailey - ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
andrew bailey - ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The Bank of England will be forced to continue home working if it wants to hire more staff despite the “benefits” of face-to-face conversations, Andrew Bailey has said.

The Governor warned the Bank could struggle to recruit if it refuses to let employees work from home, but said he wanted more of them to come into the office.

Mr Bailey said hybrid working arrangements have become a key benefit given how tight the jobs market is.

He said: “As employers, we're all having to face the fact that we're having to recruit people in a job market where that is increasingly part of the work-life balance."

Last week The Telegraph revealed Bank officials have been setting interest rates over video link. It follows revelations that the BoE is only requiring staff to return to the office one day a week, a decision which former Cabinet minister Liam Fox called “ strange” given inflation is at a 40-year high.

In an interview with Jimmy's Jobs of the Future podcast, Mr Bailey said: “We do want the staff to come back more.

"You do get benefits of having face to face conversations of the sort that you don’t get on screen.

He said Threadneedle Street would seek to find a balance between work in its office and from home, warning recent recruits were suffering from a lack of contact.

“I worry about the new staff, I worry about the young staff coming in,” he said. “For the last two years it has been far more difficult for them than we want it to be to acquire that knowledge and understanding of how things are done.”

“So for that reason, if for no other, I think it's important [that] people come to work more. But we are going to balance it.”

Mr Bailey said home work has been a success at the Bank, adding: “organisations have proved that you can do more things with home working than you thought you could”.

“We can surprise ourselves about how much we could do from home,” he said. “We've not sent the gold home to somebody and we’ve not sent the bank notes home, but most of the things actually at one time or another in the last few years have been done in people’s homes.”

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