Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup, told staff that she bans internal video calls on Fridays, and urges staff to set boundaries for a healthier work-life balance and a regular holiday called Citi Reset Day instituted as the fatigue of the Covid pandemic takes a toll on employees.
Fraser, who took over from predecessor Mike Corbat this month, notified staff of the changes in a memo sent to her 210,000 employees around the world on Monday afternoon.
“Fraser said in the memo: “The blurring of the boundaries between home and work and the relentless day of the pandemic has taken a toll on our well-being. It is simply not sustainable. As many of us still have a few months to a new normal return, we need to restore some of our work practices. ‘
The Citigroup memo was sent the day after Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon was forced to address his staff after an internal survey among first-year analysts, reported by OilGasJobz last week, went viral. The survey set out cruel working conditions at the leading investment bank, including employees’ health concerns over more than 100 hours a week, as well as everyday issues such as junior bankers being ignored during meetings.
Fraser said that although Zoom meetings with customers and regulators will still take place on Friday, employees will meet by telephone to give workers a break for the uninterrupted video conferencing.
Jane Fraser, CEO of Latin American at Citigroup Inc., smiles at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, USA, on Monday, April 29, 2019. The conference brings together leaders in business, government, technology, philanthropy. , academia and the media to discuss practical and collaborative solutions to some of the most important questions of our time. Photographer: Kyle Grillot / Bloomberg via Getty Images
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She also designated Friday 28 May as a fixed holiday called Citi Reset Day and encouraged employees to plan calls only during what would be considered the traditional working hours. Parts of the memo were previously reported by Financial News.
“If we flood our work regularly in the mornings and weekends, it may prevent us from fully recharging, and that’s not good for you, or ultimately for Citi,” Fraser said.
She also laid out the framework for what jobs will look like at Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. bank in terms of assets, when employees return to their offices. Like other banking leaders, including Solomon, Fraser valued the value of having employees, especially young people, work in an office environment.
Most employees will be designated as hybrid workers who spend at least three days a week in an office, while reporting up to two days a week from home. Branch workers will still remain on Citigroup sites, and some roles will still remain remote, although Fraser called these positions ‘somewhat rare’.
The pandemic “has opened doors to new ways of working and shown that we are capable of adapting to and even thriving amidst adversity,” Fraser said. “Nothing should stop us from building a bank that wins, a bank that fights excellence and a bank with a soul.”