Citi bans Zoom on Fridays to cope with the stress of remote work

NEW YORK: In a move to combat remote work fatigue during the Covid-19 pandemic, Citigroup Inc declared “Zoom-free Fridays” and encouraged employees to restrict calls outside working hours.

While Wall Street is known for its challenging work culture, telecommuting during the pandemic has been particularly stressful for most employees, taking a heavy toll on their health and mental well-being.

“I know from your observations and my own experience that the blurring of the lines between home and work and the rigors of a catastrophic workday affected our well-being,” CEO Jane Fraser said in a note seen by Reuters today.

“It is simply not sustainable.”

According to the memo, any internal meetings on Friday will take place in the form of voice calls only.

The CEO also encouraged employees to take time off, while the company announced a companywide vacation on May 28.

Citigroup also said that after the pandemic, the majority of roles at the bank would be classified as “mixed,” allowing employees to work from the office at least three days a week and from home for up to two days a week.

Last week, an internal Goldman Sachs survey circulating online showed that junior bankers were working an average of 95 hours a week.

Yesterday, the CEO of Goldman Sachs announced a number of measures the bank will take to address these concerns, including shifting bankers from other departments to the most crowded teams of the investment bank and hiring more junior bankers.

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