Citigroup said it’s expecting almost all employees in the U.S. and U.K. to return to the office at least part of the time by September.
Health data in both countries is “much improved,” giving the lender confidence it will be able to invite more staff back in two months, Sara Wechter, Citigroup’s head of human resources, said in a post on LinkedIn. The Wall Street giant this week opened its U.S. offices to workers who volunteered to come back, she said.
“We know this is a transition for many, and we’ll continue to be flexible to support our colleagues as needed,” Wechter said in the post. “We still have a ways to go, but I’m hopeful and look forward to seeing many of you in person in the months ahead.”
Wechter in March said the firm would see the return of as much as 30% of its U.S. colleagues this month, and that it hoped to bring “additional” staff back in September.
For now, New York-based Citigroup is proceeding with back-to-office plans even as the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19 spreads across the U.S. and elsewhere. Led by Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser, the firm has long said its plans for returning to the office will be dictated by local health data and trends, rather than fixed dates.
Citigroup has vowed that the majority of its workers will be able to continue working from home at least part of the time in the future — a more flexible position than rivals such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs, which have looked to put remote work behind them.
Citigroup staff members who remain unvaccinated will be required to use an at-home rapid coronavirus test three times a week and wear masks on-site, except when they’re at their desks or eating in the bank’s cafes. Workers who provide proof of vaccination will be able to forgo wearing a mask and the at-home tests.
Still, Wechter cautioned, the firm is encouraging all employees to wear masks in places where social distancing is a challenge, such as elevators.
“The pandemic continues to look different in many parts of the world, and the health and safety of our colleagues and their families continue to be our priority,” Wechter said.
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