AmEx Reopens New York, London Offices at 10% Capacity

American Express Co. began reopening offices in New York and London this week even as it told employees that they can continue working from home through June 2021 if they wish.

The card company said it has reopened offices in 30 locations, mostly in Asia and Europe, after seeing infection rates remain consistently low. This week, the firm began reopening facilities in London and New York, with about 10% of workers opting to return in the initial phase.

“We have decided to extend through June 30, 2021, our temporary work-from-home policy,” Chief Executive Officer Stephen Squeri said in amemo to workers. “This updated policy covers all colleagues worldwide who are able to effectively perform their roles at home and opt not to return to the office once it reopens, until the new June 2021 deadline.”

AmEx joins other large New York employers such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in laying out plans this week to start bringing back more workers. While many are seeking to help boost the local economy, some have seen plans snarled by employees’ fear of public transit or needs for childcare.

“We’re taking this step to offer colleagues more flexibility to balance work and family obligations, particularly as many of you must plan for an uncertain academic year that may involve remote learning or have elderly relatives to care for,” Squeri wrote. “In addition, many of you rely on public transportation to commute to work and may not feel comfortable using mass transit for the time being.”

Squeri said he, along with colleagues on the executive committee, will continue approving all requests for sites to begin allowing workers to return.

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