In a pre-Covid era, working from home was a rarity, with the norm being a five-day office week. As the world transitions into a hybrid work model, Citigroup (Citi) is monitoring office attendance in the UK, potentially slashing bonuses for employees not coming in at least three days a week. Citi is among several banks implementing in-office requirements, contrasting with fintech companies that prioritize flexible work arrangements.
Citi’s Monitoring System
Citi, a US bank with approximately 230,000 employees globally, is tracking the office attendance of its 12,000 UK workers. The initiative, announced by UK CEO James Bardrick, aims to address consistent office absence. The Times reported that employees who fail to meet the three-day office requirement risk losing their bonuses. Citi has stated its firm expectations for office attendance and holds employees accountable for their in-office days.
Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have already mandated full-time in-office work for their employees. Lloyds Banking Group requires a minimum of two office days per week, monitoring attendance using swipe cards. HSBC has also instructed staff to work in the office for three days a week. In contrast, many fintech companies offer flexible work arrangements, attracting candidates with remote or work-from-anywhere policies. Monzo provides flexible working hours and a hybrid approach, while Revolut has permanently adopted flexible work options following a successful trial during the pandemic. Zopa allows employees to work overseas for up to 120 days.
As traditional banks emphasize in-person work, fintech companies are moving towards a more remote-friendly future. The pandemic has highlighted the benefits of remote work, driving fintechs to adopt flexible policies. However, the monitoring of office attendance by banks such as Citi indicates a potential backlash against remote working. It remains to be seen how the industry will strike a balance between in-person collaboration and remote work in the post-Covid era.