Office Return Derailed By Omicron

Top Banks Hope For Office Return Derailed By Omicron

USA – The push by the largest financial firms in Wall Street to let their workers return to the office has again been obstructed by COVID-19 again, particularly the more contagious Omicron variant, reported Bloomberg on Tuesday (4 January, SGT).

A record 10 million people were found to have been infected with COVID-19 in the 7 days to 2 January, almost twice the pandemic’s previous weekly high. Nonetheless, weekly deaths continued to fall.

As such, the situation has forced bank executives to rethink their back-to-office plans.

“Realistically, we do not foresee us all having a safe opportunity to be together in our offices until at least Monday 31 January. We are encouraging everyone to work remotely unless there is a very good reason to be in our office,” Jefferies Financial Group’s CEO Richard Handler said in a memo that was posted on Instagram.

Jefferies also announced that it doesn’t want the firm to hold indoor group events, dinners or functions this month. Employees who want to be in the office or meet with customers are also required to get their COVID booster shot.

“While nobody knows for sure, we believe (and fervently hope) this could be the last truly challenging period of this pandemic,” added Handler.

Similarly, JPMorgan Chase told its staff they are permitted to work from home (WFH) at their managers’ discretion during the first few weeks of the year. But employees are expected to resume their in-office schedules next month. Notably, the bank is one of Wall Street’s staunchest advocates for in-office work.

Morgan Stanley has permitted different teams to decide whether their members should return to the workplace, but many are discouraging staff from reporting to the office.

Wells Fargo had indefinitely postponed its plans for letting employees return to the office. Previously, it had intended to commence bringing back staff to the office starting 10 January.

As for BlackRock, it instructed its staff to feel free to either work from home or the office, whichever they were most comfortable with until 28 January 2022.

Free Finding Service