Citigroup’s Jane Fraser is fine with remote work — as long as employees stay productive

Shape up or ship into the office.

That was essentially the message Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Jane Fraser had Tuesday for employees who slack off while working from home.

While Citigroup
C,
-1.75%
has been an outlier among Wall Street banks, offering a more flexible hybrid work schedule than most of its peers, that flexibility has its limits, Fraser said at a Bloomberg event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. And workers who aren’t cutting it remotely can expect to be called back to their desks.

“You can see how productive someone is or isn’t, and if they’re not being productive we bring them back to the office.”


— Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser

“We do measure productivity very carefully,” she said. “You can see how productive someone is or isn’t, and if they’re not being productive we bring them back to the office, or back to the site, and we give them the coaching they need until they bring the productivity back up again.”

While much of Wall Street has been ordered to return to the office full time, most Citi employees are expected to be in only three days a week, and Fraser said in a November interview with Fortune that working full-time in the office is largely unnecessary today.

Also read: Managers must ‘solve this problem’ of quiet quitting, Davos leaders say

The ability to work from home has become one of the most sought-after benefits for workers since the pandemic. One recent study of new mothers, for example, found the vast majority preferred flexible hours and remote-work options even over pay raises of $10,000 a year.

A flexible work policy has helped Citi retain talent, Fraser said, but she added that there needs to be a balance between workers’ wants and the company’s needs.

“We’re going to have keep listening to our people and getting that balance right, but if you don’t listen to them, you’re in danger of having some problems,” she said.

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