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ASOS warns staff not returning to office is ‘detrimental’ to the business

Chloe Burney
20 June 2024

ASOS is urging staff to return to the office, claiming that virtual meetings have a “detrimental” impact on company performance.

The e-tailer informed employees that it will start to take disciplinary action if they do not abide by its flexible working rules, according to The Times.

Each department's working from home requirements vary, with some required to work from the office at least three days a week. Creative, Marketing and Production teams are required to host the majority of their meetings in person.

The company claims pre-production meetings, brainstorms and commercial meetings are  “vital” for employees to attend face-to-face.

Amazon UK also recently started cracking down on the attendance of its office workers. It's going as far as to block promotions if staff do not adhere to its hybrid working policy.

This memo comes after ASOS bosses are facing farce pressure to get the business back into the black after its post-Covid sales dip. As more returned to the high street,  there was ultimately a slowdown in e-commerce, not to mention the increased competition of ever-growing oh-so-cheap sites such as Shein.

Earlier this year, ASOS revealed widening losses after half-year sales plunged by nearly a fifth as it presses ahead with "necessary action" to turn the business around.

Like-for-like sales fell 18% on an adjusted basis in the first half and the retailer confirmed it still expects sales to fall by up to 15% over the full year. It said underlying earnings in FY24-25 are set to be "significantly" higher than the previous two years as it cuts costs and slashes stock levels. Chief executive Jose Antonio Ramos Calamonte said 2023-24 "is about taking the necessary action to get us to that path".

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