Accounting giant KPMG has become the latest major occupier expecting to reduce its office footprint, announced as part of a swathe of measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The firm, which has also cut the pay of its UK partners by 11%, said it would embrace a flexible working model, which will involve allowing staff to work part of the week from home even once lockdown is lifted.
This will involve spending £44m on redesigning its offices up and down the country, including its Canary Wharf headquarters, and likely downsizing across the board. However, no decision has yet been made on office closures.
“This redesign will challenge the traditional office layout, with space being repurposed to prioritise meetings, presentations and informal convening between colleagues, clients and the firm’s wider networks,” the firm said in a statement.
KPMG chairman Bill Michael told The Times that the reduction in office footprint could even include subletting some of the firm’s mammoth Canary Wharf headquarters at 15 Canada Square.
The announcement came as part of its full-year results, in which it revealed revenue fell 4% from £2.4bn to £2.3bn. This was in part down to the sale of its pensions business in March 2020.
The sale aside, like-for-like revenue fell 2%, while underlying profit dropped 6% to £288m, which the firm attributed to the effects of the pandemic on business in the second half of the year.
In a statement, Michael said: “We started the financial year strongly, recording high single-digit growth prior to the onset of the pandemic.
“Like many businesses, our performance was then impacted by Covid-19. However, thanks to the hard work of our people, our business has remained resilient and our financial performance robust.”