Citigroup Bans Friday Zoom Calls to Ease Pandemic Stress

New CEO Jane Fraser implements internal policy on video calls at end of the week

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Citi bans Zoom calls
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Last Edited: March 26, 2021

Marian McHugh

Technology Reporter

Citigroup has declared Fridays “Zoom-free” in order to mitigate pandemic fatigue among staff.

The banking giant’s CEO, Jane Fraser – who took over the role earlier this month – has implemented the policy banning Zoom video calls on the last day of the working week in order to ease the “relentlessness of working through the pandemic, according to Financial News, which was first to report on the company-wide ban. 

“I know, from your feedback and my own experience, the blurring of lines between home and work and the relentlessness of the pandemic workday have taken a toll on our wellbeing – it’s simply not sustainable,” she wrote in a memo to employees.  

Fraser also introduced a company-wide holiday on 28 May and urged staff to take holidays in a bid to ease the stress-related toll the pandemic has been having on them, as well as encouraging them not to schedule calls outside of what were considered “traditional” pre-pandemic working hours.

The initiative is restricted to internal meetings on Fridays, which will be audio-only calls, and staff can still organise Zoom calls with clients or for external meetings, she added. 

“After listening to colleagues around the world, it became apparent that we need to combat the ‘Zoom fatigue’ that many of us feel, so I overcame my initial resistance to this idea,” she wrote. 

“We are a global company that operates across time zones, but when our work regularly spills over into nights, very early mornings and weekends, it can prevent us from recharging fully, and that isn’t good for you nor, ultimately, for Citi”

 

 

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