You couldn’t make it up. Boots orders staff back to the office five days a week

Boots has ordered staff to return to the office full-time, five days a week, starting from the first of September this year. Employees at the company’s headquarters in London, Nottingham, and Weybridge were reportedly informed via email this week about the stricter policy on remote work. This is a shift from Boots’ current policy, implemented after the COVID-19 outbreak, which encouraged a three-day-a-week office presence.

The move comes amid rumours that Walgreens Boots Alliance, the company’s owner, is preparing for a stock market listing. This could mean a return to the London Stock Exchange after 17 years of being privately held, with a potential valuation of £7 billion.

“I want to initiate a well-considered plan that brings us back to the office – whether Nottingham, London, or Weybridge – as the standard workplace for everyone for the entire workweek,” said Boots UK MD Seb James in an email obtained by The Telegraph newspaper. “I’ve been very impressed by how people have embraced the three-day-a-week model, and I believe you’ll agree that the office is a much more enjoyable and inspiring place on those days,” he continued.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the informal chats, quick catch-ups, and ability to meet in person as groups have been considerably more effective,” James said. “And it’s better for our unique Boots culture compared to the forced formality of remote meetings.”

James’ promised office upgrades are rumoured to include improved Wi-Fi, more quiet work areas, and an enhanced food selection. Boots employs roughly 8,000 people at its Nottingham office, which represents about 15 percent of its 52,000-strong U.K. workforce.