Ulster Bank has suspended its search for a new headquarters and is reassessing its need for a major office campus in the wake of Covid-19.
The rethink makes it the first major employer in Ireland to indicate that the dramatic shift to staff working from home during the Covid-19 outbreak will permanently change how it does business.
Big technology companies such as Google and Facebook have said significant numbers of their staff will continue to work from home into 2021 but have not said it will change their property needs.
Ulster Bank had been seeking a new Dublin headquarters when the lockdown began, but CEO Jane Howard says the search is now on hold as a result of the experience in the lockdown, when 2,000 of the bank's staff worked from home.
In a wide-ranging article in today's Irish Independent, Ms Howard said Ulster Bank had "taken a quantum leap in how we work, where we work and for many, when we work".
"For many people, working from home removes a long commute, removes a stressful morning and evening rush involving childcare drop-offs and collections," she said.
"It also puts diversity and inclusion on the table more than ever before. We know that flexible working is one of the single biggest drivers of diversity and inclusion, particularly for women."
Bank branches have remained open during the lockdown, and she said not everyone will want or be able to work from home in future. But she said the bank is looking at the balance of where people work, and what that means for office requirement.
"We were in the middle of a search for a new Dublin headquarters before the restrictions began, we now will re-evaluate our needs to serve our customers, as a business, and our colleagues' needs."
Ulster Bank's headquarters functions are currently split between part of the George's Quay office campus in Dublin's docks, which it has been exiting in stages, offices on College Green in Dublin city centre and at Leopardstown, south of the city.
Before the 2008 crash, the bank had thousands of staff in George's Quay alone but numbers have been reduced dramatically over the past decade and it sold off offices during and after the property crash.
The decision to reconsider the bank's headquarters needs is an indicator of how the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic may leave a permanent mark on the economy.
That will include a long-lasting slowdown in growth in many countries, according to ratings agency Moody's.
It reckons changes in consumer habits and business operations will accelerate technology disruption. It also has some bad news for airlines, arguing that while some consumer habit changes will be temporary, others will be permanent, such as reduced demand for air travel, public transport, in-store shopping and on-site entertainment.
It has also predicted that income inequality will widen, as will the economic disparity between emerging and advanced economies.
The bleak outlook published yesterday also sees global trade becoming more fragmented.
That would result in competing economic blocs and new restrictions on trade, investment and technology transfers.