In a sign of what office workers may expect when their employers get back up to full speed, UBS, the largest private bank in the world, is implementing a permanent hybrid work structure, where working hours are split between home and office, for up to two-thirds of its new and returning employees.
The Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company maintains a presence in all international financial centres worldwide, so the effects of this decision will influence office working practices around the world.
A UBS spokesman told CNBC: “We are committed to offering our employees the flexibility for hybrid working where role, tasks and location allow. Hybrid work options will be introduced on a country-by-country basis, with timing dependent on the local pandemic situation.”
Through using the hybrid work model, UBS is betting it will attract new talent as it offers more flexibility as an employer, Bloomberg reports.
Workers can start to apply for a hybrid work position as soon as local pandemic rules allow for the safe return to the office full-time at their location, Bloomberg added.
Staff in Australia, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Taiwan have already begun the application process, a source told the news outlet.
While UBS has not set a firm date for its 72,000 global employees to return to work, the bank told CNBC that only employees who are required to be in the office, such as those in supervisory roles or those in trading or branch positions, will have less flexibility in their roles.
Other international banks and financial institutions are taking a different approach with their employees.
Goldman Sachs required workers to return to the office this month, the Financial Times reported.
JPMorgan Chase also plans to have employees back in the office by July 6, according to Bloomberg.
And at Morgan Stanley, which has one of the strictest office policies, CEO James Gorman said at a June company investment event, “If you can go into a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office, and we want you in the office.”
Morgan Stanley not only requires workers to be physically present but will also require employees, clients, and visitors to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before they can return to New York City office locations starting in July.
Goldman Sachs told workers they would be required to disclose their vaccine status to return to the office, but said it still would allow unvaccinated staff in its buildings so long as they wear face masks, according to CNBC.
With vaccinated employees in the office, companies will be able to ease back mask and social distancing policies as they look to get their offices back to normal operations.