May 20, 2020 / 4:42 PM / in 10 days

JPMorgan to use common desks to make offices easier to clean after pandemic

The logo of Dow Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is seen in Los Angeles, California, United States, in this October 12, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - When JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) staff return to offices in regions slowly re-opening from the coronavirus lockdown, some may be required to sit at common desks, or “hot desks,” a temporary seating arrangement that management hopes will make it easier to clean, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

The memo, sent on Wednesday to staff in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the bank has no timeline for returning staff to offices, but that it is working on a plan that will limit the number of staff in buildings to about 50% at any one time. A JPMorgan spokesman verified the contents of the memo.

That puts JPMorgan's plans in line with Goldman Sachs and other global banks, which are working out plans to return staff to offices while avoiding the kind of close social contact that could lead to a resurgence in the novel coronavirus. reut.rs/3fPAGsx

More than 90% of the JPMorgan’s 250,000 employees worldwide have worked from home or other remote locations since mid-March to help stem the spread of the virus. That has proved disruptive, however, for some heavily regulated and technology-intensive jobs in trading and compliance.

In the memo, which was sent by JPMorgan’s operating committee, the bank said that while the buildings are operating at reduced capacity, some staff will have to move to new desks or floors for “flexible seating (that will allow) for all areas to be cleaned and disinfected effectively.”

In addition, the bank is removing furniture from office reception areas and limiting the number of people riding elevators at the same time. Cafeterias will sell only pre-packaged meals, cashiers will no longer accept cash and there will be fewer seats.

Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Paul Simao

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