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Revealed: ITV to reduce London office space and take new home at White City, as flexible working embraced

·3-min read
ITV (PA Wire)
ITV (PA Wire)

ITV has joined the list of employers looking to take the axe to its London office footprint size following the working from home experience, with plans to relocate some 2000 staff.

The Evening Standard can reveal that FTSE 100 company ITV, led by Carolyn McCall, is planning to exit two existing sites in the capital, near Chancery Lane station and on Grays Inn Road.

As part of the Love Island broadcaster’s plan, it will move staff from there into around 120,000 square feet of space the BBC is set to vacate in White City as part of changes to its own office portfolio.

Details of the moves, which would result in a significant reduction in ITV’s office footprint, come at a time when companies are drawing up post-pandemic workplace plans.

After more than a year of remote working in some cases, bosses in various industries are looking to embrace a mixture of home and office hours. That could mean some firms need less space in future.

Earlier this year it emerged that HSBC is looking to reduce its office space around the world by nearly 40%. Banking giants JPMorgan and Barclays have also signalled they will be scaling back office space, as has Capita. Meanwhile a Grant Thornton study in February said over a third of UK mid sized companies expect to reduce office space they occupy.

At ITV the company expects to offer more flexible working. That means there will be fewer people on sites each day, and therefore it has less need for as many dedicated desk spaces.

The firm in October said it planned to reduce its London office space “over the coming years to reflect the changing needs of the business in the context of its digital transformation and the move towards more flexible working as well as taking cost out of the business”.

ITV has just agreed to a deal for around 120,000 square feet on three floors at the Broadcast Centre where the BBC intends to leave from later this Summer.

This workspace would be on top of existing space ITV already has in White City, where it has a team of around 450 staff. It also has studio space where shows such as Lorraine are filmed.

There would be employees from across several teams moving to White City, including HR, management and finance.

ITV’s McCall said: “Our people have made it really clear to us that they want to build on the positive aspects of their experience over the last 18 months to have a more balanced approach to office based and remote working. That balance will vary from team to team given the kind of work we do and we know that face to face collaboration is crucial for creativity and innovation - we’re looking forward to this new hybrid way of working.”

The boss added: “Our new office will bring everyone from ITV in London together and will provide the size and flexibility to enable everyone to perform their roles, help ITV deliver on our strategy as well as get the balance they want in their lives.”

The BBC plans to exit Broadcast Centre and move teams based there to its remaining London properties, including other ones in White City, and in the West End.

In a note to impacted staff, the corporation’s managing director Bob Shennan said staff on the fourth and fifth floors will move to lower floors in the summer allowing for work to be done ahead of a new tenant arriving. It did not say if ITV was the tenant.

Those on lower floors will move to new permanent bases by August next year.

Shennan said that recent changes announced for a new hybrid working model and the planned shift of resources around the UK to bring the BBC closer to audiences, mean “we have been able to consider the London footprint and make some changes”.

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