Boots HQ staff ordered back to the office five days per week

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 8-Mar-2024

Staff at the UK beauty retailer’s London, Nottingham and Weybridge headquarters will revert back to a five-day office week from 1 September

Boots has ordered staff to return to the office five days a week from 1 September.

Employees at the UK health and beauty retailer’s London, Nottingham and Weybridge headquarters were reportedly sent an email this week informing them of the home-working crackdown.

It is a reversal of Boots’ current policy – implemented after the Covid-19 outbreak – which encourages staff to attend the office three days per week.

The move follows rumours that the Walgreens Boots Alliance-owned company is being prepared for a stock market float.

This would mean a return to the London Stock Exchange after 17 years of private ownership, with a potential £7bn valuation.

“I want to start a thoughtful plan that gets us back to the office – whether Nottingham, London or Weybridge – being the normal place of work for everybody for the whole working week,” said Boots UK MD Seb James in an email seen by The Telegraph.

“I have been very heartened by the way people have embraced the three days a week model, and I think that you will agree that the office is a much more fun and inspiring place on those days.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the informal conversations, brief catch-ups and ability to meet in groups in person has been far more effective.

“And better for our unique Boots culture than the enforced formality of remote meetings.”

James’ promised office upgrade is rumoured to include enhanced WiFi, more quiet spaces and an improvement in the food offering.

Boots employs roughly 8,000 people at its Nottingham office, which accounts for around 15% of its 52,000-strong UK workforce.

Boots is the latest beauty company to make a big change to its flexible working policy.

L'Oréal is reportedly clamping down on its hybrid working policy to tackle dwindling office attendance.

This came after L'Oréal CEO Nicolas Hieronimus expressed his discontent towards work from home policies at the World Economic Forum in January.

THG has also ordered employees at its Manchester-based headquarters to return to the office five days per week.

It said the move was because “face-to-face interaction has a hugely positive impact on our business environment”. 

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