UK Banks Asking Workers To Return To Offices

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HSBC's logo appears under black clouds in Geneva in March of 2019
HSBC's logo appears under black clouds in Geneva in March of 2019

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the United Kingdom will ease its COVID  protocols, major banks such as Goldman Sachs and HSBC have asked their employees to return to offices.

The U.K. was the first country to regulate international travel as concerns over the Omicron variant were high. In December, the government enforced its Plan B measures, which called on people to work from home and follow guidelines such as mandatory mask-wearing. 

The government is now no longer urging employees to work remotely. 

“Many of our employees really do want to come back into the office,” said Chris Hirst, global head of creative at French advertising agency Havas, as reported by BBC News. “But there are some people who are nervous and we don't have a one-size-fits-all approach to that.”

HSBC said its staff began going back to offices on Thursday.

“I know many of you in England will be excited to get back into the office,” a memo from the bank said, as reported by Financial News. “As we restart our Smart Return efforts, you’ll be hearing more about the shape of hybrid working in your line of business or function."

Citigroup has also reportedly outlined a hybrid working plan to its London workers, asking them to appear in offices no less than three days a week. 

"Before Christmas the Omicron variant cast a dark shadow over the Square Mile's recovery,” Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation Catherine McGuinness said, as reported by Reuters. “The signs are now much more promising."

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