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Ocado to allow staff to work remotely from abroad

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Online grocer Ocado has told staff they can work remotely outside the UK for one month a year.

The move comes as companies rethink their workplace policies in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

The firm’s chief people officer, Claire Ainscough, told the Times newspaper that its employees were still being encouraged to return to the office.

However, Ocado wanted to offer „a balance and choice” in response to requests from staff.

Under the scheme, Ocado staff who worked from home during the pandemic will be able to do their jobs remotely from anywhere they like, including outside the UK.

Ms Ainscough said this answered a „top question” from staff, particularly those who had families abroad and did not want to use up their leave by spending time with them.

A number of other companies have announced policies on what has become known as „hybrid working” – allowing staff to work partly from home and partly in the office.

Supermarket giant Asda has said it will allow staff at its head offices to „select the best location to do their job”, including home, head office or even a store or depot.

However, not all companies plan to embrace a hybrid approach. Investment bank Goldman Sachs has said it wants people to come back into the office once restrictions have ended.

And government departments have seen just a few people go back to the office, despite a recommendation that they should make a „gradual return” over the summer.

One unnamed Cabinet minister told the Daily Mail that civil servants who refused to return to their offices should have their pay cut.

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