No Zoom Fridays Are Now a Thing at CitiGroup

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Casual Fridays used to mean no ties, no dress pants and the chance to walk around in nice, soft sneakers. At CitiBank, it now means no Zoom calls.

CEO Jane Fraser has banned internal video calls on the last day of the working week, dubbed “Zoom-Free Fridays,” as Citi tries to tackle workplace angst after a year of pandemic life.

Blurred Lines “Simply Not Sustainable“

Fraser, who replaced Michael Corbat last month, was quick to acknowledge upon taking her new role that hanging around at home in a tracksuit has actually pushed some employees even deeper into their work, risking burnout and exhaustion.

“The blurring of lines between home and work and the relentlessness of the pandemic workday have taken a toll on our well-being,” she wrote in a staff memo. “It’s simply not sustainable.”

Citi told its employees to embrace ways to combat the burnout now and in the future.

  • Fraser is encouraging staff to take vacations and Citi said employees should not take meetings outside normal office hours. Bold.
  • Even after the pandemic, most employees will get to work from home for two days a week.
  • They’ll also get a company-wide holiday on May 28, called “Citi Reset Day.“

All That Glitters is Not Goldman: Citi’s announcement comes on the heels of a dustup at Goldman Sachs, after analyst staff complained last week of “inhumane” working conditions that included gruelling 95 hour work weeks leading to physical and mental illness.

“I didn’t come into this job expecting 9am-5pm’s,” one analyst wrote, “but I also didn’t expect consistent 9am-5am’s either.” Another said, “My body physically hurts all the time and mentally I’m in a really dark place.“ In response, Goldman promised to enforce a rule barring junior analysts from working weekends and hire more analysts to cover the excess workload.

the takeaway

Go on vacation is sounding more and more like a really good idea right now.