US Bank mandates 3 days a week in the office

U.S. Bank employees must come into the office at least three days a week, according to an internal memo seen Friday by the Star Tribune.

This marks a shift from office hours being optional to mandated, a year and a half after CEO Andy Cecere told employees he’d prefer their presence at least three times weekly.

When he informed employees of the preference in November 2022, most of them had been working from home, but “collaboration, engagement, and how we demonstrate our culture as One U.S. Bank” was starting to erode, Cecere wrote at the time.

But beginning this quarter, if a U.S. Bank employee has been assigned office space, that person has to be in-office thrice or more weekly, and their adherence to that will factor into annual performance reviews.

The shift is “designed to bring more consistency to your work experience, promote our one U.S. Bank culture, and ensure you are engaged in a productive and supportive environment that feels inclusive and rewarding,” Elcio Barcelos and Mark Runkel, the bank’s human resources chief and transformation chief, respectively, wrote in the memo, according to Axios.

U.S. Bank spokesperson Jeff Shelman told AOL the bank “want[s] to find a balance between providing flexibility for our employees and ensuring that we can both enhance collaboration and build the relationships that come easier when work is done in an office.”

As part of its shift, the bank will designate 24 markets across the U.S. as hubs, with the intention of investing in offices and making upgrades in those places. Employees within 30 miles of hub cities will be required to come to the office, Axios reported.

Bank executives have struggled — for years now — to get butts in seats after the COVID-19 pandemic waned. 

Deutsche Bank in June will require managers to come into the office four days a week while all other staff must come in at least three, and employees can no longer work a remote Monday following a remote Friday.

Bank of America, for its part, has been sending “letters of education” since last fall to employees who are not meeting the bank’s office attendance policy.

“Failure to follow the workplace excellence expectations applicable to your role within two weeks of the date of this notification may result in further disciplinary action,” stated a letter posted online in January by a Bank of America employee.