AmEx CEO Says Not All Staffers Likely to Return to the Office

American Express Co. Chief Executive Officer Steve Squeri said it’s unlikely all company employees will return to the office, with the card issuer weighing new ways to use office space following the coronavirus pandemic.

AmEx probably will be more willing to let staffers work remotely in the future, allowing the firm to hire talent in cities where it doesn’t have a presence, Squeri said at a virtual investor conference Tuesday. The company will focus on using its offices for team-building or networking.

“I don’t think the work environment as we left it will be the work environment we come back to -- I think it’s going to be completely different,” Squeri said. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense to come in and sit in front of a video screen and do video conference calls all day.”

AmEx has told employees they’ll be able to work from home through at least September, Squeri said, adding that he may extend that policy through the end of the year. Still, some staffers may want to return to the office as they seek places to be more productive, he said.

“For some people, the purpose of coming into the office is ‘I actually need a place to work because I got a cat coming across me, I got a kid climbing on my back,’” Squeri said. “I’ve seen this happen -- dogs running through the meeting, kids, the whole bit. So they may just need the peace and quiet.”

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