America’s two biggest banks return to remote work

In a memo obtained by CNN, City ,C, Asked its US employees to work from home for the first few weeks of the new year, if they are able to do so. The bank pointed to the “increase in COVID-19 cases across the US due to the Omicron version”.
“We will continue to monitor the data and provide an update in January when we expect to be back in the office the same way we were,” Citi said in the memo.
Several other major companies have recently shifted their return to office plans, including Apple, Lyft, Ford, Jefferies and CNN.
Citi has taken a more relaxed approach than some of its US-based rivals when it comes to getting employees back into the office. Before the latest shift, many of Citi’s US workers are working in a hybrid model, which calls for them to be in the office at least twice a week.

JPMorgan still wants employees to return by February 1

J. P. Morgan ,JPM, Thursday’s memo said its employees would be allowed to work from home during the first two weeks of 2022. The largest US bank said it would be at the discretion of managers and only applies to those whose roles allow remote working.

“Across the US we are seeing a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases related to the Omicron variant,” JP Morgan said in the memo. “With an increase in holiday travel and gatherings, we are allowing for more flexibility during the first two weeks of January.”

JPMorgan stressed that it “is not changing our long-term plans to work in the office” — and that employees will be back soon.

“We expect everyone to return to their office schedules no later than February 1,” the memo said.

‘Please get a booster’

JPMorgan encourages all employees to be vaccinated, to be tested before returning to the office after holiday travel or gatherings. Unvaccinated employees are required to be rapidly tested at least twice a week before entering JPMorgan facilities.

JPMorgan urges employees to get vaccinated and promoted.

“Please get the booster,” the memo said. “The booster has been shown to further reduce the risk of serious illness from COVID-19.”

JPMorgan and Citi’s moves underscore how the lingering pandemic has complicated efforts by Wall Street leaders to bring employees back into office.
Omicron is messing with economic recovery
In June, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman warned employees that they would be “very disappointed” if they didn’t return to the office by Labor Day. If they failed to return, he said, “then we would have a very different conversation.”

By December, the Morgan Stanley boss went back on that decree.

“I was wrong on this one,” Gorman told CNBC. “I thought we might have been out last Labor Day, and we’re not.”

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