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Citigroup has banned internal Zoom calls on Fridays in an effort to stop staffers from running themselves ragged while they work from home.
Jane Fraser, the megabank’s newly minted CEO, announced the “Zoom-Free Fridays” policy in a company memo alongside other measures aimed at addressing “the relentlessness of the pandemic workday.”
“We are a global company that operates across time zones, but when our work regularly spills over into nights, very early mornings and weekends, it can prevent us from recharging fully, and that isn’t good for you nor, ultimately, for Citi,” Fraser wrote in the Monday memo, which Citi provided to The Post.
Fraser — the first woman to lead a major Wall Street bank — said she initially resisted cutting back on video calls, but came around after hearing colleagues around the world complain about “Zoom fatigue.”
While Friday calls within Citi will be audio-only, Fraser noted that staffers will still need to meet with regulators and clients by video.
She also urged employees to avoid scheduling calls outside of their traditional pre-pandemic working hours and to use their vacation days. Fraser is leading by example — she said she’s taking a few days off at the end this month, “knowing I will come back with a fresher brain.”
The bank will give all staff a day off on May 28, which Fraser declared a company holiday called “Citi Reset Day.”
Citi isn’t alone in trying to combat the burnout plaguing Wall Street bankers after a year of working remotely.
Goldman Sachs chief David Solomon pledged to make sure staff get Saturdays off after a group of junior analysts complained about 100-hour work weeks taking a toll on their physical and mental health.
But Solomon also emphasized the importance of working long hours, telling underlings Sunday that going “an extra mile” for clients “can really make a difference in our performance.”
Citi plans to eventually cut down on the remote work that’s apparently got staffers running out of steam, according to Fraser’s memo, which was first reported by Financial News.
Most of the bank’s jobs will be “hybrid” roles once staffers are vaccinated, meaning people in those positions will go into the office at least three days a week and work from home up to two days a week, Fraser said.
Some jobs will be fully remote after the pandemic, but others like those in bank branches or data centers cannot be done offsite, she said.
“While the pandemic has shown us how versatile our colleagues can be, for many of our roles, we strongly believe there are several material advantages to being physically together,” Fraser wrote.
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