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Citigroup Bans Zoom for Workers, but Only on Fridays

For one day a week, employees won't have to take part in Zoom meetings
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2021 6:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – Does the thought of yet another videoconference with colleagues make you want to stick a Post-it over your laptop camera? One global company hears that and is taking measures. "After listening to colleagues around the world, it became apparent we need to combat the 'Zoom fatigue' that many of us feel," new Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser said in a memo to employees sent Monday, per CBS MoneyWatch. The company's solution: no more Zoom meetings allowed on Fridays. Fraser also cited the need for workers to take vacation time and set "healthy work boundaries," meaning no making calls once the workday is done. "[T]he blurring of lines between home and work and the relentlessness of the pandemic workday have taken a toll on our well-being," she noted in the memo, adding that this mental and physical exhaustion isn't good for the employee or for Citi as a whole.

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But, as CNN Business notes, "there's a catch" to the reprieve. Zooming will still take place on Friday with clients and government regulators, and employees will still be expected to jump on traditional phone calls if necessary. In nations where Friday officially kicks off the weekend, another day will be designated a Zoom-free day. Fraser also announced a "Citi Reset Day" for 2021, a companywide holiday that will take place on May 28, the Friday before Memorial Day, per CNBC. CNN notes the company offered a similar day off last year. Finally, Fraser detailed how things might look at the company when workers start trickling back into the office, saying that most jobs that don't require in-person interactions (such as those at branches and data centers) will go hybrid, where workers telecommute a couple of days a week. Bloomberg notes other Wall Street companies, including Goldman Sachs, are also taking measures to try to alleviate "pandemic-fueled malaise" for workers. (Read more Citibank stories.)

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