Deutsche Bank Unveils Hybrid Model for Post-Pandemic Work Return

Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk past the Deutsche Bank Center in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg)

Deutsche Bank Unveils Hybrid Model for Post-Pandemic Work Return

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Deutsche Bank AG launched its new remote working policy, pledging to implement a hybrid model for staff once pandemic conditions allow a return to offices.

The lender will allow staff to divide their work hours between the office and their home, it said in a memo seen by Bloomberg and signed by Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing and HR head Michael Ilgner.

The management of each division will provide detailed information “in due course” to the bank’s units about how to implement the policy, they said. In April, Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke said a range of 40 to 60% of work from home makes sense.

“We need to find the right balance which will make all of us together more efficient and effective,” according to the memo. “To support new ways of working we will make targeted investments in our real estate and upgrade our digital infrastructure to facilitate increased collaboration.”

Reduced Office Space

Deutsche Bank has repeatedly highlighted it wants to cut costs by reducing office space as the pandemic has shown that increased work-from-home arrangements don’t lower productivity. The lender expects to achieve “further savings” from an accelerated “rationalization of its real estate portfolio,” it said in April.

European lenders including HSBC Holdings Plc and UBS Group AG are paring back office space as they recognize employees’ desire for a greater balance between work and family obligations in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. That sets them apart from some U.S. lenders, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon having once called work-from-home an “aberration.”

Still, Deutsche Bank too indicated that all staff are expected to come in to the office at least from time to time.

“Our home base will always be the office,” the memo said. “When the situation allows, we are very much looking forward to welcoming our teams back.”

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