UBS plans to allow up to two-thirds of its employees to work together at home and in the office for a long time, betting that this method will give the Swiss bank an advantage over Wall Street banks when it comes to hiring.
According to people familiar with the matter, the move to adopt a hybrid work model was led by CEO Ralph Hamers and his senior management, which highlights the fact that it is incompatible with the tougher approach taken by many U.S. banks. The gap is getting bigger and bigger.
UBS has decided that only employees who are required to hold positions in the office due to regulatory rules or to perform specific tasks, such as traders and branch employees, have little or no flexibility in their work practices.
According to people familiar with the matter, internal analysis of its 72,000 global employees shows that approximately two-thirds of the positions allow for mixed work.
UBS’s position echoes those of its European counterparts such as France Societe Generale, But in sharp contrast with the approach taken by several U.S. banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which have ordered their employees in New York to resume work.
After most bankers have worked in home offices, spare rooms, and kitchen tables for more than a year, UBS’s decision suggests that a legacy of the pandemic may be a fundamental divergence in work practices between European and American banks.
The UK-based bank HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank Plans have been announced to allow employees to work from home or “near home” to reduce office space and avoid urban commuting.
In an internal message to employees released last week, UBS stated, “We are committed to providing you with the flexibility of mixed work (a mix of office and work from home), where roles, tasks and locations allow.”
However, even employees who offer mixed jobs still need to participate in certain activities in a manner agreed by their manager.
The Zurich-based bank has not yet determined when it will require employees to return to the office. UBS declined to comment.
In contrast, Goldman Sachs employees have been ordered to return to the bank’s New York headquarters, while JPMorgan Chase’s US employees are expected to resume normal work from July 6.
Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman (James Gorman) The harshest Call on employees to return to the office. He said at a recent company event: “If you can enter a restaurant in New York City, you can enter the office, and we hope you are in the office.”
Citigroup is one of the few large US banks that have introduced a mixed work model so far, and employees can work from home for up to two days a week.
Although it only moved into Broadgate 5, one of the largest buildings in the City of London five years ago, UBS has long been looking for ways to get more employees to work from home.
Last year, it tried to issue to traders in London Augmented reality headset, Allowing them to reproduce the experience of working on a crowded trading floor without leaving home.