UPDATE: July 27, 2021: Wells Fargo is giving some New York- and North Carolina-based bankers in its corporate and investment-banking division the option to return to the office next week, according to a memo released Thursday. But once they return, they’ll be expected in the office five days a week, the memo indicated.
"We believe that being physically together is critical to the work we do supporting clients and our team, as well as a cornerstone to how we develop talent across the banking platform," the bank said in the memo, seen by Business Insider.
Bankers based on the third, sixth and seventh floors of the Duke Energy Center in Charlotte can return the week of Aug. 2, Wells Fargo said. Bankers on floors 11, 12, 33 and 34 can return later in the month. It was unclear whether the staggered return is based on job function or office capacity rules.
Employees based on floors 64 and 65 of Wells Fargo's Hudson Yards office in New York City may also opt to return at the beginning of August, the memo said.
Bankers in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and San Francisco should expect an optional late-August office-return date, according to the memo.
Most of the banking team will be expected in the office five days a week after Sept. 7 — the office-return target date for some other units — unless they are meeting with clients, Wells Fargo said.
- Wells Fargo will begin collecting data Monday regarding whether employees have received COVID-19 vaccinations, the bank said Friday in a memo seen by American Banker and Bloomberg.
- The bank laid out a strategy that involves one wave of employees — those in operations and call centers — to return to the office Sept. 7 on a temporary rotational basis. A second wave — encompassing technology, corporate and back-office workers — will return in October, according to the memo.
- “We believe our success depends on our employees becoming increasingly collaborative and innovative, and that we all benefit from seeing our colleagues on a regular basis,” Scott Powell, the bank’s chief operating officer, wrote Friday. “When we are together, it is easier to build relationships, get in-the-moment coaching, identify the next career opportunity, brainstorm ideas and learn more about the customers and communities we serve.”
Friday’s memo served as an update for the U.S. bank with the largest workforce. Wells Fargo last month said it would confidentially survey its U.S. employees over their vaccination status — Powell asked that workers respond by June 16 — but that answers will not be shared with respondents' managers, and that the bank will not use the data on a person-by-person basis but rather as analysis of trends across job types, regions and business groups.
Employees don’t have to be vaccinated to return to the office, Powell said — a move that separates Wells from banks such as Morgan Stanley. But unvaccinated workers can’t use that status as a crutch to lobby for more remote-work time, Powell added.
Flexibility at Wells will vary by job function. Employees in risk, finance and legal — as well as noncustomer-facing teams in the business lines — will have the capacity to work remotely as many as two days a week, according to the memo. Technology employees will be given more remote-work flexibility.
Management is formulating “how to best offer flexibility for contact center and operations roles going forward,” the memo said, adding that job type and individual experience will factor into remote eligibility.
Powell told Bloomberg the bank will monitor the COVID-19 caseload, too, and adjust its strategy accordingly.
“If something dramatic starts to happen with the variants, we would change our plans if we have to change our plans,” he said.