- Citi employees who have been with the bank for at least five years will be able to take a sabbatical of up to 12 weeks, starting next year, to do whatever they like, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. The catch: Workers would get 25% of their base pay during their time away. Employees would be limited to two sabbaticals.
- Employees of the bank will also be able to buy up to five extra vacation days per year starting in 2021.
- Citi is also letting staff members work pro bono for up to four weeks with charitable organizations while receiving 100% of their base pay, as long as they've worked with the bank for five years or more. Workers can take advantage of the perk twice during their Citi tenure.
"People may need a break to pursue personal interests, education, they may have a family situation going on, they may just need to take a break to care for their well-being," Diane Arber, head of human resources for the bank's institutional clients group, told Bloomberg on Wednesday. "It could be any of the above. We're not going to review the reason. We're just going to review the coverage of the business."
Citi's new benefits were born out of months of meetings among the bank's human resources staff as the company brainstorms ways to sweeten the pot for employees as the coronavirus pandemic abates.
"So here we are now all working from home and being extremely productive — it really gave us time to pause and think about what should we be doing differently for the employees," Arber said. "People just sometimes need a break, and they don't want to just stop their career."
Bank employees reported record-high satisfaction in an internal annual survey, Arber said. In addition to the new perks, the bank will begin to review all roles in the first quarter of 2021 to evaluate which employees could benefit from longer-term remote work, Arber said.
Other banks are keeping their eye on perks and work conditions as the pandemic presumably enters its final stretch.
Bank of America said Wednesday it would extend, through the end of the first quarter, childcare reimbursements of $75 or $100 a day, depending on an employee's compensation, Bloomberg reported. The bank also said it is boosting — from 40 to 50 — the number of days in 2021 that employees can use in-home care or backup facilities.
"It's both the right thing to do and the practical thing to do," the bank's chief human resources officer, Sheri Bronstein, told Bloomberg. "If your 5-year-old is running around, it's impossible to answer the phone to customers or be productive. And we really felt it was a balance of both trying to invest in our teammates and helping them through a very difficult time."
Wells Fargo, meanwhile, again pushed back its office-return timeline Wednesday. The San Francisco-based lender "will extend its current operating model through at least March 1, which is an extension from our prior announcement of Feb. 1," Chief Operating Officer Scott Powell wrote Wednesday in an email to staff, seen by Bloomberg. "As with previous extensions, we will ask employees who are working from home to continue doing so."