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Citi Singapore in no hurry for staff to return to workplace

CITI Singapore will extend its work-from-home arrangements till July even as "circuit-breaker" measures ease from June 1. 

Currently, 88 per cent of its 8,500 employees here are working remotely, while the remaining 12 per cent are on-premises. The bank plans to maintain this split till July, said Citi Singapore in a statement on Thursday.

The timing and process of returning to office will vary based on office location, office setup, resources and medical guidance. The bank is also evaluating the diverse needs of its various teams when developing its return-to-office strategy.

Aside from prioritising the health and safety of its staff and clients, the ability of the bank to maintain productivity remotely is another reason why there is no urgent need for staff to return to the workplace sooner, said Citi Singapore. 

“The majority of our staff have been working effectively from home and are continuing to deliver value to our clients. There is no urgency to bring them back onsite at the end of the 'circuit breaker'. I see benefits in being deliberately slow and measured in our return to ensure their safety and well-being," said Amol Gupte, Citi head of Asean and country officer for Singapore. 

The bank will continue to evaluate the optimal work structure after the "circuit-breaker" period. Its focus is also on the "longer-term strategic shift that will outlive the pandemic", as it designs future ways of working by using technology to enable staff to engage effectively with one other and better serve clients, said the bank. 

As staff return to the workplace in July - which will be done incrementally over a period - Citi Singapore will observe safe distancing measures that are in line with the Ministry of Health's advisory. 

Some measures that will be implemented include safe distancing at work stations, making the wearing of face masks or full face shield mandatory, and ensuring that staff do not mingle with others during meal times or in common spaces. At the bank's premises, the SafeEntry and TraceTogether apps are also used to assist in potential contact tracing.

For staff currently working onsite, including those working at alternate sites, the bank will continue to allow them to claim expenses and reimbursements for transport costs and car parking at Citi offices. 

Those who are working from home will also continue to be eligible for reimbursement for incremental home Internet/Wi-Fi/broadband/cellular data/cellular minutes expenses incurred.

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