ECB to Work Remotely Through January Amid Delta Disruption
The European Central Bank will let its employees work remotely until early next year, the latest sign that the delta variant of the coronavirus is derailing the return to the office around the world.
The “default solution is remote working, still today, and probably until the end of January, and then we will see,” ECB President Christine Lagarde said on “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations” on Bloomberg Television.
Major corporations and institutions like the International Monetary Fund have been forced to delay returns to the office after the delta variant of the coronavirus caused infections to rise. While the City of London is seeing more people return to their desks, some banks are also offering flexible arrangements as employees seek a better balance between work and their personal lives.
A spokesman for the Frankfurt-based ECB said that the decision stick to remote work was made “in light of the evolution of the current pandemic situation.” Everyone present at the central bank’s premises must be vaccinated, recovered, or tested.
In the interview, Lagarde said the broader economy is heading toward “a hybrid movement, where part of the week will be spent in the office so that people can meet, can see each other, can hold regular meetings and have face-to-face contact.” The rest “will likely be working from home.”
While the exact design of these new arrangements still needs to be determined, “people have learned during the pandemic, and those learnings will be bottled in and used for the future way of working,” Lagarde said. Still, she acknowledged that large parts of the workforce, including hospital staff, construction workers and people working in shops, don’t have the “luxury of choice.”
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