Currys’ transition to hybrid working ‘the best thing the company has ever done,’ say colleagues

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In March 2020, when the pandemic mandated 1,500 office-based colleagues shift to remote work overnight, electronics retailer Currys faced the challenge of maintaining productivity, employee wellbeing and company culture amid the unexpected upheaval. Rapid adaptation was necessary, combining home office setups and virtual communication tools. However, remote work also brought challenges like lack of face-to-face collaboration and an exacerbated meeting culture. When society began to open back up, the feedback data from colleagues was unequivocal – they wanted to continue to have flexibility in their ways of working. Currys committed to addressing their employees’ needs while keeping commercial interests in mind – a complicated task given the uncertain economic climate.


Currys initiated a journey led by a dedicated team, colleague forums and the Executive Committee, leveraging colleague feedback, surveys and data to guide their shift towards hybrid working. In response to an employee survey revealing 90% preferred hybrid working, Currys initiated a partnership with Champion Health for wellbeing support and set up an online Hybrid Working Hub with resources and guidance to support its Hybrid Working Principles of Be Connected, Be Intentional, Be Inclusive and Be Flexible. It has implemented a Golden Hour between 1-2pm every day as a guaranteed meeting-free hour and Wednesday Mornings Unplugged, an extended meeting-free zone for thinking and planning rather than being on-screen.

To deliver a positive office experience when people did want to come together to connect and collaborate, the company decided to adopt a hub-and-spoke model in partnership with WeWork that began in August 2022. This came on the back of a survey finding that 77% of people rated Currys’ Acton head office building and facilities as average-poor, with only 17% of people regularly attending the office. A decision was taken to leave Acton and use WeWork’s Waterloo flagship building as the company’s hub location, along with 15 regional meeting spaces across the UK. This was done to ensure in-person collaboration and attract top talent while maintaining safety and accommodating employee preferences. Additionally, Takeover Days were introduced in the Waterloo office to enable each corporate function to have a dedicated space and time for their team once a month to encourage team collaboration.

“The transition to a hybrid model hasn’t just been about the logistics but also about fostering a culture of trust”


The flexibility offered through the hybrid model led to increased office presence without any forced mandate, indicating a successful transition. Closing the previous office space in Acton allowed Currys to fund the WeWork facilities while reducing the company’s carbon footprint. Survey results post-transition showed overwhelmingly positive feedback from employees, with 92% feeling positive about the hybrid approach and 88% planning to use the new Waterloo site regularly. Words like ‘game-changer’ and ‘the best thing the company has ever done’ proliferate. What’s more, the hybrid model has attracted more talent to the company, with at least 3,000 candidates applying to Currys because of the hybrid approach. Internal mobility also increased, with the hybrid model allowing people to move from retail to corporate roles, for example.

The transition to a hybrid model hasn’t just been about the logistics but also about fostering a culture of trust by offering colleagues the opportunity to balance their professional and personal lives more effectively, providing them with the autonomy to work in a way that best suits their needs and the needs of the business. Currys continues to evolve by maintaining a dialogue with colleagues and focusing on their safety and wellbeing, thereby creating an inclusive, productive work environment.

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