Wells Fargo & Co. is planning to bring employees back to the office in mid-March, after the firm’s return plans were repeatedly upended last year due to Covid-19 surges.
Most groups, including customer-facing employees and those in enterprise functions, will return under a “hybrid flexible model” beginning March 14 regardless of vaccination status, according to a memo Wednesday from Chief Operating Officer Scott Powell. Operations and contact-center employees will start their return following staff employees.
“When we start returning to the office it’s going to be a lot of flexibility, way more flexibility than we had before the pandemic,” Powell said in an interview, adding that in most cases that means three days a week in the office. “We will adapt the model as we go forward, as we know more.”
Wells Fargo, which had 249,435 employees at the end of last year, originally set a September return for staff working from home. That plan was delayed multiple times, first by the delta variant and then the omicron variant, and in December the firm postponed return-to-office indefinitely. As of Wednesday, the bank is allowing some fully vaccinated staff to voluntarily return, as well as resume business meetings, travel, and client visits, according to the memo.
The San Francisco-based bank is encouraging vaccines without requiring them so far. Fully vaccinated employees can choose not to wear a mask, subject to local restrictions, while unvaccinated staff are subject to testing requirements and must wear a mask at all times. Employees in customer-facing retail locations are required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
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