The nation’s largest bank is aiming to have as many as 50 percent of its sales and trading team back in the office by mid-July, up from 20 percent during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in New York City.
The office return has been in the works for over a month now, as the bank sent an internal memo to employees May 7 about the creation of a Return to the Office Task Force, “which includes business leaders and representatives from Real Estate, Amenity Services, Technology, Global Security, Human Resources and Communications to guide and assist each location as they develop detailed plans to ready our sites to receive more employees.”
On May 15, the task force told employees that several precautions were being implemented to ensure a safe work environment, including establishing security and health protocols in lobbies and elevator banks, adjusting people flow on floors and in common spaces, establishing new food-handling protocols, remapping seating plans and tidying desk space for common use.
Other banks have also rolled out plans to return to their offices in New York and other regions. Goldman Sachs announced last Wednesday that it will welcome back its first wave of employees to the company’s New York, Jersey City, Dallas and Salt Lake City offices on June 22. Citibank CEO Michael Corbat told Bloomberg in an interview last month that the bank is hoping to get 5 percent of its employees back in its Manhattan office as soon as July.
New York City is in phase one of the reopening plan, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the progress being made Monday.
“All of the numbers so far have been very good in New York. We’re hitting a new high – which is really a new low – but in this case, low is good,” he said. “The lowest number of hospitalizations since this has started. Amen. The lowest number of deaths on a three-day average since this has started.”
However, Cuomo said over the weekend that there were 25,000 complaints against businesses where people are not social distancing, and he has threatened to roll back the reopening plan if proper social distancing guidelines aren't followed.