UK newspaper group backs working from home post-pandemic

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LONDON (AP) — The publisher of one of Britain's most popular tabloids and numerous other national and regional newspapers says a majority of its staff will continue to work from home on a permanent basis even after all of the U.K.'s coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Reach, which owns the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express as well as the Daily Star and is the country's biggest regional newspaper group, said Friday that it plans to increase home-working as part of its post-lockdown working arrangements. The group, which employs around 4,000 staff members, says the move will free up resources to bolster its journalism across its titles.

During the yearlong coronavirus pandemic, most journalists in Britain have worked from home, with only a threadbare staff remaining in many of the sprawling newsrooms around the country.

Reach said it is to move to a hub-based model with 15 large offices, or “hubs,” located in many of the major cities of the U.K. and Ireland.

“Moving forward, colleagues will either be home-based or working mainly from home with regular office attendance, and around a quarter permanently office-based, working from one of 15 hubs around the country," a Reach spokesperson said.

"We will be investing more in our strategy and our journalism and less in buildings,” the spokesperson added.

Reach did not provide any details about any potential savings from the decision, which will involve leaving or downsizing its presence in traditional workplaces.

Unions are assessing the announcement and what it may mean for members. Reach said it conducted a survey that showed a majority of employees found home working “suited their needs."