ECB Extends Remote Working to End of Year as Virus Picks Up
The European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters stands in Frankfurt, Germany. (Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg)

ECB Extends Remote Working to End of Year as Virus Picks Up

European Central Bank staff have been told to work remotely until at least the end of this year, according to people familiar with the matter, three months longer than previously planned as the coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of abating.

Employees were told that teleworking will stay the default option, the people said, asking not to be named as internal communications are confidential.

“Having had positive experiences with remote working, the ECB will err on the cautious side when deciding on a return to office-based working,” a spokesman for the central bank said, while declining to confirm the new timeline. “The current regime is that those who have good reasons to work from the office, can do so.”

Attempts by companies across the globe to judge when they can bring back workers are being frustrated by an upturn in new coronavirus cases that threatens to further damage the economy. The pandemic is now adding a million infections every four days, and governments in some parts of the world have reimposed lockdowns.

Multiple members of the 19-nation euro zone have also seen an increase, including Germany, the home of the Frankfurt-based ECB. The central bank has more than 3,500 employees from across Europe, with more than half aged between 31 and 47.

Other European Union institutions have also asked their employees to work remotely. Some 80% of the EU Commission’s 32,000 staffers work from home, while the remaining ones attend the office in weekly shifts, a spokeswoman for the bloc’s executive arm said.

If the situation allows, the Commission plans to revise its policy as of mid-September, she said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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