South Africa’s biggest banks are making a work-from-home shift

 ·29 Aug 2021

Standard Bank chief executive Sim Tshabalala says that the bank is set to keep a work-from-home strategy in place for much of the next year.

Presenting the Standard Bank’s interim results recently, Tshabalala said that the bank’s focus is on keeping its staff safe and well. This means many employees will continue to work from home for the remainder of 2021.

Standard Bank forecasts that the country’s vaccination rollout will gain momentum in the coming months, enabling more employees to return to normal working.

However, Tshabalala said that the bank, which employs in excess of 45,000 people, is set to continue working on a hybrid basis in 2022.

In line with a continued push towards digitalisation, Standard Bank has also continued to rationalise its branches and offices, significantly cutting down on floor space.

The bank has also seen a steady headcount decline since 2016 – which it attributed primarily to natural attrition and branch rationalisation.


Nedbank has also informed staff of a planned shift in its workforce structure, with a number of employees set to continue working from home after the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided.

In a notice sent to a number of employees at the end of June, the bank said that it envisages a ’60/40 split’ which will see only 60% of staff work from one of its campuses on any given day.

In an emailed response to BusinessTech, Nedbank said that the change is in line with its ‘digital-first and first in digital’ aspiration. “Nedbank has been on a journey over the past few years, rethinking its operating model and ways of working to keep up with the changing world and world of work,” said Deb Fuller, group executive of Human Resources.

“Subsequently, Nedbank has gradually introduced new Ways of Work and incorporated flexible work practices.”

Now, due to Covid-19, many Nedbank employees are already doing some form of remote work, she said.

“This has given Nedbank an opportunity to accelerate its aspirations, scale its digital workplace in a way that delivers the greatest value for all stakeholders, as well as formally adopt a hybrid workforce model.”

Read: Standard Bank outlines plans to become ‘a platform business’

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