JPMorgan tells staff to prepare to return to office by July

Offices will be subject to a 50 per cent occupancy cap with working patterns rotated

JP Morgan said it will have a 50 per cent occupancy in its US offices until social distancing rules are revised. AFP
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JPMorgan Chase became the first major US bank to mandate a return to offices for its entire US workforce as soon as July.

The lender’s top decision-making body, led by chief executive Jamie Dimon, said in a memo to staff on Tuesday that it “would fully expect that by early July, all US-based employees will be in the office on a consistent rotational schedule”.

Rotations will be subject to a 50 per cent occupancy cap, until US authorities revise their social distancing guidelines, the memo said. It advised workers that “with this timeframe in mind you should start making any needed arrangements to help with your successful return”.

Industry leaders have been preparing for a return to offices since the earliest months of the pandemic last year. Mr Dimon, who’s been going into the office since June, said in September that he sees economic and social damage from a longer stretch of working-from-home. Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon earlier this year labelled the arrangement an “aberration” that needs to be fixed.

Prospects for returning to offices have become clearer in recent weeks as vaccines have proliferated across the US. Citigroup has said it will start inviting more workers into the office beginning in July, while Wells Fargo said it hopes for a “more normal operating model” in September. Summer interns at JPMorgan and Goldman will be able to work from the offices, Bloomberg has reported.

“We firmly believe that working together in person is important for our culture, clients, businesses and teams, and we know that you’ll do your part to make it a positive experience that reflects our company at its best,” the firm’s leaders wrote in the memo.