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Premier Foods to offer hybrid working to office workforce

Premier Foods to offer hybrid working to office workforce
The firm said the new working arrangement will be offered to staff across its offices, including Manchester, Southampton and High Wycombe.

Mr Kipling cakes firm Premier Foods has unveiled plans to allow more than 800 office-based staff to choose whether they work remotely.

The group, which also owns brands including Oxo and Bisto, said staff at its standalone offices can be based “wherever they work best” from this month as part of a new hybrid working model.

It follows a trial involving more than 100 employees at the FTSE 250 listed group, with staff concluding that a mix of office and homeworking would offer the “best of both worlds”.

Premier Foods said the new working arrangement will be offered to staff across its offices in St Albans, Manchester Lutterworth, Southampton and High Wycombe

This isn’t about getting rid of the office altogether, it’s about shifting our mindset on what it means to be flexible

David Wilkinson, Premier Foods

The group confirmed there will be no office closures as a result of the shift to hybrid working.

David Wilkinson, group human resources director at Premier Foods, said: “This isn’t about getting rid of the office altogether, it’s about shifting our mindset on what it means to be flexible.

Work is a verb, not a place, and, whether it’s for a team meeting or just personal preference, our office remains open for anyone who wants to use it.

“What it’s not is somewhere colleagues have to be for the sake of showing their face.”

It is one of a growing number of firms offering staff a hybrid model combining remote and office-based working in response to the pandemic.

Nationwide said earlier this year it was allowing 13,000 employees to choose where they work, as it also said it would shut three small offices amid the shift to hybrid working.

This decision came after 57% of the lender’s staff said they wanted to work from home full-time.

A raft of major firms and investment banks, as well as Government departments such as the Treasury and the Bank of England, have also adopted a hybrid working model.

Premier Foods – which employs nearly 4,000 staff across 15 operations and manufacturing sites in the UK – said there will be no minimum days that staff will need to come into the office, but they will be expected to attend ad hoc team meetings and conferences.