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Keep calm and carry on working from home, says RBS

Lucy Burton
rbs

Thermal imaging cameras, temperature checks and one-way corridors will be used to protect staff at Royal Bank of Scotland when they return to work in late September, the Natwest owner has said.

RBS has told 50,000 staff they can work from home for at least the next four months and laid out the efforts it will take to beat Covid-19 when they eventually go back to the office. There will be a limit of two people per lift and empty desks will stop colleagues from getting too close.

Until then, employees will be allowed to ask for office equipment such as folding desks, chairs and screens. However, about 400 workers in highly regulated roles must go back to their desks next month. 

Since the start of lockdown, RBS has kept around 10,000 staff members in branches- the vast majority of which have stayed open - and some offices have remained up and running.

Earlier this week it had 52,000 people all working from home at the same time, while last Friday it recorded 40,000 virtual meetings. 

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Banks are now preparing to bring staff back into work, with the hub of Canary Wharf this week getting ready for thousands of employees to return.

Goldman Sachs, which stocked up on face masks during the 2009 swine flu crisis, told staff in Asia last month that those back in the office will be given two surgical masks a day. 

Alison Rose, chief executive of the taxpayer-backed bank, said: "We are now thinking about the most effective way to operate in the medium term, putting in place carefully considered measures for running the bank." 

Other companies are also telling staff that they will not be expected to go into the office anytime soon.

Spotify has also told its 4,400 staff that they can keep working from home for the rest of the year, Music Business Worldwide reported.

The music streaming firm has been one of the rare winners of the pandemic. Its shares have risen from $117 (£96) in mid-March to a new record high of almost $193 on Thursday – up $40 in the past week.

Investors applauded its exclusive deal with popular podcast presenter Joe Rogan that takes effect from September.