Wall Street returns to the trading floor

Workers at major Wall Street banks returned to their desks this week after alternative Omicron pushed people from remote locations in mid-December.

Jefferies Financial Group Inc. JEF,
+ 0.49%
and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS,
-0.27%
Workers drove immigration on Monday and Tuesday to dust off their desks.

“We’re back to our blended business model this week with the majority of our employees back in the office,” a Jefferies spokesperson said in an email to MarketWatch.

A spokesman for the bank said Jefferies CEO Rich Handler improved the deal by going to his Instagram account with an offer to buy dinner for the seven under 30 if they went to the office on Monday.

We see: The US Covid death toll is at an all-time high and higher than in other rich countries, with global deaths up 9% in the last week

Handler and Jefferies president Brain Friedman shared the company’s hybrid work policy with employees last month in a post on their website titled “Walking with a hop in your step and a smile on your face, but not running.”

“We will aspire to operate as we have been in the post-October period: remaining vigilant at all times, and embracing the WFH hybrid status/option,” the letter read.

Jefferies said it would require proof of vaccination, a booster shot and a mask to be worn in public areas, with a maximum of 10 people at indoor meetings. Customer entertainment will resume on February 7 for groups of up to 10 people.

A spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS,
-0.27%
The bank said the bank asked workers to return to the bank on Tuesday.

A person familiar with Bank of America Corp. BAC,
-0.11%
He said the company is gradually bringing employees back into the office and tracking local data and guidance from medical experts.

The person said Bank of America does not have a vaccine mandate, but strongly encourages employees to get a full vaccine, including the booster vaccine.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. GBM,
-0.80%
The spokesperson said employees began assuming a “more normal work schedule” this week. The spokesperson did not provide the percentage of workers who returned because it “varies by job, job and occupation”,

Some JPMorgan employees work five days a week, while others work at 50% due to occupancy limits.

“Some teams are experimenting with mixed schedules, and we are testing the effectiveness of these models,” the spokesperson said.

Citigroup C spokespersons,
-0.50%
and Morgan Stanley MS,
-0.03%
not commented.

Jane Fraser, chief executive of Citigroup, led the company last March to become the first major bank to embrace office flexibility.

In mid-December, Citi told New York-area employees in a memo that “Given the current situation, if you are able to work from home now during the holidays, feel free to speak to your manager about doing so.”

The note went on to read: “Like all of you, we would have hoped that Covid was now behind us, but we greatly appreciate your ability to adapt, the support of your colleagues and your continued commitment to our safety measures.”

Read also: Wall Street hits the brakes on the bus back to the office, at least during the holidays

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