In an internal memo sent to Citi staff on Monday, Fraser launched “Zoomless Fridays,” banning internal video conferencing that day. She said staff should also “try to avoid” scheduling video conferences outside of normal working hours before the outbreak of the pandemic.
“When our work regularly turns into nights, very early mornings and weekends, it can keep us from fully recharging, and that’s not good for you and ultimately not good for Citi,” wrote Fraser. She also called on staff to take their vacation and gave all employees on May 28, a “reset day” that the bank also hosted last year.
Fraser used most of the memo to present an agenda for the future of work at the bank once the crisis is over. While the pandemic has shown bankers to be able to work flexibly, Fraser stressed the importance of the office for the sake of collaboration, camaraderie, and the dissemination of institutional skills and knowledge.
As a result, Fraser writes, most roles at Citi will be referred to as “hybrid,” with at least three days spent in the office. Some roles, for example in branch offices and data centers, will remain full-time in person, and there will be fully remote “somewhat rarer” roles.
New working models will take time to refine, she said, but “nothing should stop us from building a bank that wins, a bank that stands for excellence and a bank that has a soul.”
The Citi memo follows a discussion about banking and remote working started by a group of young bankers at Goldman Sachs, who last month presented management with a slideshow detailing their dissatisfaction with the long working hours at the harsh treatment of senior bankers and their low job satisfaction. .
The slides, created by a group of 13 investment banking analysts, circulated on social media last week. Goldman chief executive David Solomon has since praised the group and called for better enforcement of the bank’s “Saturday rule,” designed to prevent junior bankers from working 9pm Friday through Sunday. morning. He also said the company was adding to its staff to handle increased workloads and was “more selective” in taking on new work.