Raymond James is planning for a full return to in-person work for its employees and advisors on Sept. 13, Chairman and CEO Paul Reilly wrote in a letter this week.
“As we begin to resume in-person gatherings and work, the prospect of returning to the office might bring a mix of emotions,” Reilly said. “Many of us are excited to see colleagues in person again, but some may have reservations about changing remote work routines or have safety concerns.”
That’s not to say all of Raymond James’ advisors and employees will return to the office. Reilly said the firm will “embrace flexibility” and various work arrangements and evolve to attract top talent who want more mobility. He added there are certain types of roles in which people will be more productive working remotely.
“Unlike many firms that are applying a one-size-fits-all approach to their return-to-office and future plans, we are working to ensure our businesses and support teams have the flexibility to best serve their clients and stakeholders, while balancing work arrangements to provide associate and advisor flexibility as roles and responsibilities allow,” Reilly said. “Once we return we will work together, making assessments and adjustments on an ongoing basis.”
The firm’s managers will be speaking with advisors and employees in the coming weeks on what this means for them, Reilly said.
Reilly also stressed that as the firm returns to work, it would follow CDC guidelines and keep existing on-site health and safety measures in place.
He also stressed the benefits of working in person. About a quarter of the firm’s workforce has joined within the past 24 months, and they “haven’t benefited from the in-person mentoring and training by seasoned colleagues.”
Reilly's letter comes as more and more financial services firms have outlined their return-to-work plans.
Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman has said he wants his employees to return to the office by Labor Day. But on an earnings call with analysts Thursday morning, he said the company would be flexible, where called for.
“What we learned through COVID is that under certain circumstances, having people work from home makes great sense,” Gorman said. “There are individuals who have health issues; there are individuals who look out for family members. In past years, we would’ve said ‘well that’s too bad.’ Now if you have to move to be with your family for a couple months to look out for health issues or family issues, we can manage that.”
In February 2020, Gorman said he thought that post-COVID-19, about 80% of all employee hours worked would be done in one of the firm’s offices. “That’s probably where it’s going to end up,” he said.
Bank of America expects to have employees back in the office by early September, but only if they’ve been vaccinated. The company asked people to voluntarily disclose their vaccination status, and after receiving over 70,000 responses, said those who have been fully vaccinated can already begin returning to work. The company said it will develop a plan to bring those who haven’t been vaccinated back to work after September but has yet to announce details.
JP Morgan plans to have most of its employees back in the office this month and has asked all of its U.S. staff to get vaccinated before returning. In a memo to staff, the company said it may require all employees to be vaccinated in the future.