American Express is extending its work from home policy through June 2021 in an effort to provide its entire global workforce with additional flexibility during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We’re taking this step to offer colleagues more flexibility to balance work and family obligations, particularly as many of you must plan for an uncertain academic year that may involve remote learning or have elderly relatives to care for. In addition, many of you rely on public transportation to commute to work and may not feel comfortable using mass transit for the time being," Chairman and CEO Stephen Squeri said in a statement.
Taking note that workers across America have concerns about returning to office spaces, Squeri added, "I hope this news offers you some peace of mind while you care for yourselves and your loved ones."
Despite this announcement, the policy extension will not affect the financial services company's phased reopening plans.
American Express began a phased reopening in its New York office this week with approximately 10% of employees opting to return in the first phase. In addition, the company has begun phased reopenings in almost 30 of its office locations around the world to date. The majority have taken place in Europe and Asia, where coronavirus infection rates have remained consistently low.
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"As we continue to open more offices to more colleagues, you can choose to come back to work or continue working from home until June 30, 2021, unless local government regulations require you to work in the office, or if you cannot perform your job with the same effectiveness from home," Squeri added. "I want to thank you again for your focus and resilience these many months. I’m confident we will continue to engage productively and back each other and our customers as we move forward.”
American Express joins a growing list of companies that have extended their work-from-home policies amid the ongoing pandemic.
Both Google and Uber have both announced that they would extend their voluntary work-from-home policies until at least next summer, while companies like Slack, Twitter, and Facebook have all embraced a permanent work from home policy. Ford also announced in July that it would be offering salaried employees in the United States the option to work from home until at least the end of the year.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase is taking the opposite approach, with the bank's top brass calling their trading floor employees back to the office by Sept. 21, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
American Express saw its profit plunge 85% in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic slashed customer spending. The New York-based financial services company earned $257 million, or 29 cents per share, as revenue fell 29% to $7.68 billion.