Some companies want employees back in the office; some workers hesitate

National News

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — American Express Co will allow most employees to work from home for up to two days a week permanently, unveiling a hybrid back-to-office approach in contrast to that of some major Wall Street banks.

Most of the U.S. and U.K. staff of the credit card issuer will have the choice to work remotely on Mondays and Fridays starting October, AmEx Chief Executive Officer Stephen Squeri said in an internal memo.

AmEx will begin bringing back employees to the office starting Sept. 13, with an aim to fully adopt the hybrid model in the week of Oct. 4. The final decision will, however, depend on local conditions and health authority guidance, the memo said.

The first three weeks will be a “transition period” to allow employees to “get used to” going to the office. Occupancy will be restricted to 50% and most of the staff will work in the office only two days a week during the period, the memo said.

On Monday, Morgan Stanley’s CEO said he expects most of the bank’s workers at its Manhattan headquarters to return to office by September.

“If you can go into a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office. And we want you in the office,” said CEO James Gorman.

Other major banks JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs Group Inc have also begun bringing employees back to their U.S. offices on a rotational basis.

However, not all workers are hesitant to return to the workplace after months in sweatpants.

“I think it’s great to get back into work…get back into society…get that one-on-one…get off the couch,” a New York City office worker told NewsNation.

AmEx employees who worked full-time from home before the pandemic hit will continue to do so, while those who cannot “perform their jobs effectively” from home will be required to go to the office daily, the memo added.

The New York-based company’s plans were first reported by Bloomberg News.

Reuters’ Niket Nishant; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli contributed to this report.

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