No vaccine, no problem.
That’s the message UBS Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers is telling the bank’s 25,000 employees. “The pandemic has delivered solutions to manage the risk of carrying the virus and passing it to your colleagues, and that is to work from home,” Hamers said at the Swiss Economic Forum in Interlaken Thursday.
UBS, which has a global presence, is looking to take a more flexible approach to a return to office.
Switzerland’s largest bank previously said it would allow most employees to permanently work from home at least some of the time, even as it holds off on setting a date for a return to the office.
In a memo to employees sent in June, UBS announced roughly two-thirds of employees will be allowed to adopt a hybrid work model that will let them work from home or the office depending on their preference.
“We are committed to offering our employees the flexibility for hybrid working where role, tasks, and location allow,” the bank said in a note to employees. “It is our aspiration to meet the requirements of our employees for a flexible and future-oriented working environment.”
The note says the hybrid model will be implemented country by country. Once it’s safe to return to the office in countries like Australia and the US, most employees will begin to adopt the hybrid schedule.
Whether an employee is fully remote will depend completely on their role and the discretion of their manager. Certain roles like branch staff and traders will be required to return to the office full-time.
UBS is also unveiling new training for managers to better incorporate employees who choose to work from home on their teams.
During the pandemic, almost all bank employees globally worked from home. Now, most US-based banks like Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are calling employees back to the office.