American Express commits to a future of hybrid work

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·3 min read

With year end quickly approaching, another large financial services company is planting a flag in the ground on the future of post-pandemic work for employees. 

American Express (AXP) revealed "Amex Flex" on Monday for its more than 63,000 employees. The plan has three core planks for the company's workforce: hybrid, onsite, and fully virtual. 

Onsite workers will be back in the office 4-5 days a week, and limited to those roles that need to be in the office or to workers who want to be back in full-time. Hybrid workers will be in the office 1-3 days a week on average. And fully virtual workers will not be required to be back in the office. Teams will decide on what schedules work the best. 

Amex's new working model will go into effect on Jan. 25 at the earliest, and comes after the company undertook extensive research into how employees preferred to work. 

Credit cards of American Express are photographed in this illustration picture at an office in Frankfurt, Germany, March 17, 2016.    REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Credit cards of American Express are photographed in this illustration picture at an office in Frankfurt, Germany, March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

"Our traditional way of working has changed. The office is no longer the only place where most colleagues can effectively get work done, as we’ve proven throughout the last 18 months. We want to build on the progress we’ve made working virtually, including how we’ve become more efficient and agile, gained greater flexibility to manage our professional and personal lives, and leveled the playing field for colleagues across band levels and locations," said American Express chairman and CEO Stephen J. Squeri in a blog post explaining the new plan.

Amex's friendlier approach to post-pandemic work life runs somewhat counter to other big banks.

JPMorgan (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) have been the most aggressive in wanting employees back in the office. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank's (DB) employees have begun to transition to its eye-catching new headquarters in New York City. 

Perhaps one of the more open-minded financial institutions — other than Amex — has been Citigroup (C) under CEO Jane Fraser. The new CEO has said employees need to be in the office at least two days a week, but has allowed workers to choose their own schedule. 

“The number of dads that came up and said, ‘It’s so neat because I can work from home and therefore I can get to the kid’s school play,’” Fraser said in a recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek interview. Fraser added output from employees has remained solid despite the hybrid work backdrop. 

“It’s refreshing because you get rid of some old anachronistic cultures or ways of doing things and you unleash this energy," Fraser said in the interview. 

Programming Note: Both American Express chairman and CEO Stephen J. Squeri and Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser will be speaking live at this year's Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit on Oct. 25.  

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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