A majority of Citi Singapore's staff will continue working from home until July, the bank announced yesterday in a press release.
The lack of urgency to return to the workplace is based on two key reasons - Citi Singapore's emphasis on the health and safety of staff and clients, and the bank's ability to maintain productivity while employees work from home.
Currently, 88% of its total staff strength of around 8,500 are working remotely while another 12% are on-premises, and the plan is to maintain the split till July.
Staff currently working onsite, including those working at alternate sites will continue to be allowed to claim expenses and reimbursements for transport costs and car parking at Citi offices.
Similarly, those who are working from home, will also continue to be eligible for reimbursement for incremental home internet/Wi-Fi/broadband/cellular data/cellular minutes expenses incurred.
Commenting on the extension of its work from home plan till July, Amol Gupte, Head of ASEAN and Citi Country Officer (CCO) for Singapore said, “The majority of our staff have been working effectively from home and are continuing to deliver value to our clients. There is no urgency to bring them back on-site at the end of the Circuit Breaker. I see benefits in being deliberately slow and measured in our return to ensure their safety and wellbeing.”
The bank's return to site strategy is guided by six principles:
- The health and safety of staff come first
At home and in the office, the health and safety of its staff is the bank’s top priority.
- Working does not require staff to be in the office
The bank will continue to evaluate the optimal work structure post-Circuit Breaker.
- The pace of return will be slow and measured
Citi Singapore will be deliberate and focus on details such as safe distancing measures and managing common areas when staff start returning to the workplace. In Singapore, staff will only begin returning in phases from July, a month after the Circuit Breaker period is lifted.
- One approach will not fit all
The timing and process of coming back to the office will vary based on office location, office setup, resources and medical guidance. Citi Singapore is also evaluating the diverse needs of its various teams when developing its return to office strategy.
- Innovating the way of working
The focus is also on the longer-term strategic shift that will outlive the pandemic. Citi Singapore is designing future ways of working by leveraging technology to enable staff to engage effectively with one other and also to better serve its clients.
- Adherence to national guidelines
Citi Singapore supports the actions of the Government in fighting the pandemic. At its premises, both the SafeEntry and TraceTogether apps are used to assist in potential contact tracing.
Even as staff return to the workplace in July, which will be done incrementally over a period, Citi will observe the strict Safe Management (SM) measures that are in line with the Ministry of Health’s advisory. Some of the measures that will be implemented include safe distancing at work stations, making the wearing of face masks or full face shield mandatory, and ensuring that staff do not mingle with others during meal times or in common spaces.
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