Citi ordered low-performing remote workers back to the office

As Citibank promotes flexible work arrangements, workers who are unwell at home will be ordered back to their cubicles, CEO Jane Fraser told It’s Bloomberg David Westin at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday.

“You can see how productive someone is or isn’t, and if they’re not productive, we’ll take them back to the office, or back to the site, and we’ll give them the coaching they need until they get back to being productive. up again,” said Fraser.

That lack of productivity can add up silent pausethe term in the sun which describes doing the least of what is asked of you at work—and not the least. Advocates call it “making your paycheck work.”

Fraser did not say how many workers were ordered back, however data shows that above the lack of enthusiasm of the remote workers-or, in other words, a silent cessation of the epidemic-is a myth. Slack’s think tank, Future Forum, survey 10,000 global white-collar workers in October and found that those with full schedule flexibility showed 29% higher productivity scores than employees without flexibility. Additionally, employees with flexible schedules reported a 53% greater ability to focus and three times better work-life balance than those with rigid office protocols. .

Considering that there is no shortage of companies that stay strong back to the office though sufficient evidence shows that it is unnecessary—to the point where others are tracking the productivity of their workers while working from home—it’s unlikely that other companies will follow in Citi’s footsteps.

When Westin asked Fraser about the long-term effectiveness of remote work, he first identified “win-wins.”

“I want to start by saying that we know that we are going through a human crisis during the pandemic, [and hybrid work] an advantage for us to attract, retain, and get the best of our talent,” he said. “We measure productivity very well, and I’m very proud of our people and what they’re doing in terms of supporting clients and communities in some difficult times around the world.”

However, he is mindful of different needs at different points and ensures that they are met so that workers “provide excellence to clients and to the work.”

But he believes there is an “important balance” in implementing hybrid work, emphasizing the value of collaboration and apprenticeship that workers can only experience in person.

Pro-hybrid, anti-quiet abandonment

At various points throughout the pandemic, Citi has waffled on its back-to-office policy. In March 2021, it was the first major US bank to introduce a long-term hybrid model, including “Zoom-free Fridays” and a company holiday on May 28, called “Citi Reset Day.”

But in early 2022, Citi became something Dive into Banking has been called “the Wall Street lender with the strictest layoff policy,” because it threatened to immediately fire workers who did not comply with its vaccine mandate.

At the end of the year, Fraser told luck that insistence of competing banks on full-time personal work—including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan– felt “a bit 1980s.”

“Why do we need to have our junior bankers … in the office late at night when they are working on a deal?” Fraser said in an episode of It’s fortune Leadership Next podcast. “Once they’re done working together, they can do that at home.”

It seems, then, that Fraser is pro-hybrid, but anti-quiet quitting: Remote work is fair, if done in balance and while maintaining productivity levels. After all, he expects “a world with tight labor supply” in the future, he said in Davos. “We don’t see people coming back out of the workforce in anything like the numbers we were expecting, and that’s despite the pending recession and the inflationary challenges.”

As a result, pulling off a hybrid arrangement that works for everyone is important. “I think we have to continue to listen to our people and get the right balance,” he said. “If you don’t listen to them, you risk having problems.”

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