UBS is banking on flexibility when it comes to working from home.
Switzerland’s largest bank — striking a different tone from its American counterparts — said Monday it will allow most employees to permanently work from home at least some of the time, even as it holds off on setting a date for a return to the office.
In a memo to employees last week that was obtained by The Post, UBS announced roughly two-thirds of employees will be allowed to adopt a hybrid work model that will let them work from home or the office depending on their preference.
“We are committed to offering our employees the flexibility for hybrid working where role, tasks, and location allow,” the bank said in a note to employees. “It is our aspiration to meet the requirements of our employees for a flexible and future-oriented working environment.”
The note says the hybrid model will be implemented country by country. Once it’s safe to return to the office in countries like Australia and the US, most employees will begin to adopt the hybrid schedule. Whether an employee is fully remote or not will depend completely on their role and the discretion of their manager. Certain roles like branch staff and traders will be required to return to the office full-time.
UBS is also unveiling new training for managers to better incorporate employees who choose to work from home on their teams.
During the pandemic almost all bank employees globally worked from home. Now, most US-based banks like Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley are calling employees back to the office.
Goldman Sachs has been the most aggressive about returning to the office, treating employees two weeks ago to free food and musical performances during their first week back. Goldman’s CEO David Solomon has been vocal about his dislike for remote work — calling it “an aberration that we are going to correct as quickly as possible” and “not a new normal” for employees at the bank.
At Morgan Stanley, James Gorman has yet to dictate employees return this summer. But he made headlines last week for issuing a stern warning to his staff in a virtual conference — come back to the office by Labor Day, or face a pay cut. “If you can go into a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office,” he said.
Bankers at JPMorgan will return en masse next month, regardless of whether or not they have gotten a coronavirus vaccination.
Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser has said she will let employees work from home some of the time. Bank of America has yet to disclose what approach they will take.