Asos staff have been warned that online meetings have a “detrimental” impact on performance and that those disobeying its flexible working rules will face disciplinary action. 


Asos believes virtual attendance to some meetings puts a “strain” on the wider team

The fashion retailer told employees that it would begin taking disciplinary action if they flaunt its flexible working policy, which for some departments requires staff to attend the office at least three days a week.

According to a report in The Times, Asos sent out correspondence to staff to stress the importance of attending face-to-face meetings in the office, and told them there was a “very real need” for people in the business to see, touch and feel the clothes, which was “impossible virtually”. 

It is understood Asos requires its creative, marketing and production teams to conduct the majority of meetings in person, and the retailer said that virtual attendance to some meetings puts a “strain” on the wider team.

Sales at the fashion retailer have been under pressure in recent years as it struggles to lure younger shoppers from cheaper players like ecom giant Shein and shoppers make a return to the high street. 

In its most recent set of results, sales at Asos declined 18% in the 26 weeks to March 3, 2024, while adjusted group revenue fell year on year from £1.83bn to £1.5bn.

Asos posted a slight improvement in loss before tax, as this half-year trading period saw a £270m loss, up from £290m in the same period last year.

Sales in the UK fell 16% year on year against a “difficult consumer backdrop” due to cost-of-living challenges that have impacted the “younger Asos customer demographic”.