Goldman Tells Bankers In London To Work From Home If Possible
Now that the UK has identified the first patient infected with omicron to die, and PM Boris Johnson has asked Britons to work from home starting Monday if possible, it appears banks are once again asking workers to stay away from the office, if possible.
According to Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs sent a memo to its staffers in London last week asking them to return to working from home if possible.
“Those of you who are able to work from home effectively should do so from Monday,” the lender said last week in an internal memo. The bank’s offices will remain open for those who still need to come in. Safety protocols including an on-site testing program and the wearing of masks away from desks remain in place.
The guidance is in line with BoJo’s request last week that workers across England work from home if they can starting Monday. BoJo made the request while unveiling his “Plan B” COVID restrictions to fight back against the omicron variant.
Goldman isn’t alone: HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and others have all told their bankers in the UK to stay home. Goldman’s call is even more notable, however, because the bank’s CEO, David Solomon, famously loathes working from home, and has vowed to try and stop it from becoming a lasting norm.
But financial firms aren’t only telling workers in the UK and Europe to stay home. As the 4th wave of COVID infections appears to have finally taken hold in New England, Fidelity, which has a large presence in Boston, paused a “pilot” return to office program in the city, according to a spokesperson.
That call applies to offices in Boston; Smithfield, Rhode Island; and Merrimack, New Hampshire. The decision was made due to “rising COVID risk.”
The UK has reported more than 3,000 cases of the omicron variant through Monday. Overall, the number of new COVID cases has continued to climb to levels unseen since last winter, even as countries in continental Europe are seeing cases plateau, or even decline.
Tue, 12/14/2021 – 05:45
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