Accounting firm Deloitte is to shut four of its 50 UK offices as it looks at its real estate portfolio in the UK.
Despite the office closures, it will retain all 500 staff based in those offices on working from home contracts, the firm said on Saturday.
The move is the latest in a number of companies that have begun to reevaluate their real estate options since the COVID-19 pandemic forced widespread lockdowns and governments asked workers to avoid commuting if they can.
Deloitte said it would shut sites in Gatwick, Liverpool, Nottingham and Southampton.
Stephen Griggs, Deloitte’s UK managing partner, said in an emailed statement published by Reuters: “COVID-19 has fast-tracked our future of work programme, leading us to review our real estate portfolio.”
“Any proposed change is to our ‘bricks and mortar’, not our presence in these regions.”
Another move Deloitte has made in the wake of the pandemic includes cutting UK partner salaries by 20% to protect jobs.
BP chief Bernard Looney has previously said the FTSE 100 (^FTSE) company will move to a more “hybrid work style,” balancing home and office working.
This comes alongside news that banks could also be moving away from working in big office blocks in the near future by converting underused parts of their high street branches into space to work.
Virgin Money (VMUK.L) and Metro Bank (MTRO.L) have already made plans to convert parts of branches into flexible working space, according to the FT. The report also said Lloyds Banking Group (LYG) would begin testing similar measures from October.
A combination of swathes of businesses saying employees will work from home until the new year, and downsizing at many firms has left business leaders questioning their commercial office arrangements. This has brought uncertainty in the property market.
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