() -Jeferies Financial Group, an investment bank in the United States, has asked employees to work remotely until January 31, another sign that New York’s bank offices are ready to start the year empty. With the spread of the Omicron variant.
Banks and financial firms are struggling with how to deal with the latter option and how to communicate with employees and retain employees in times of uncertainty. A number of other banks have asked employees to work remotely at the beginning of the year due to the recent increase in workload.
“In fact, we will have a safe opportunity to be together in our office until at least Monday, January 31st,” Jefferies CEO Richard Handler said in a statement.
Jefferies called his staff to their offices in October, but was forced to return to work from home in December due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. He also re-established the mask mandate in his offices, regardless of vaccination status.
Handler also said the bank will not hold closed group events or other functions, and believes it should only be “the most important business trip”.
As concerns about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus grew, Wall Street banks, which were aggressive in returning employees to offices, were forced to reconsider their plans.
Among other banks, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said on Sunday it will encourage deserving U.S. employees to work from home until Jan. 18.
Goldman was the last Wall Street banker to make the most effort to get employees back into offices, and was the last person to try to keep most employees working in offices through the rise of the Omicron option.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. also said last week that workers could leave home in the first two weeks of January, among those who encouraged employees to work in their offices. However, JPMorgan said in a note to employees that all employees are expected to return to their offices no later than February 1st.
A source familiar with JPMorgan said Monday that most of its employees took advantage of the opportunity to work from home this week, although the bank had employees who had never worked from home because their duties had to be done from the office.
Citigroup also asked its employees to work from home in the first few weeks of 2022, a person familiar with the matter said late last month.
A source familiar with Bank of America Corp on Monday reiterated that employees will be encouraged to work from home during the week of January 3, and the bank will monitor the wider environment. The bank will hold booster clinics in several locations for employees across the country starting this month.
Interviews by Niket Nishant, Anirudh Saligrama and Nur Zaynab Hussain in Bangalore; Edited by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Megan Davis