(Bloomberg) — Deutsche Bank AG is revising its work-from-home policies in an effort to permanently reduce office space and save costs.
The bank’s leadership is working on a new “hybrid model” for how staff can split work between the office and their homes, Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing said at a conference on Thursday.
The new policies will eventually allow employees to have binding agreements on how many days per week they want to work away from the office, a person familiar with the matter said. The lender has developed estimates how big a share of total staff will work from home, according to the person, who asked not to be identified discuss internal planning.
Deutsche Bank is seeking to accelerate cost cuts announced last year after the coronavirus pandemic forced a large number of employees to work from home. Its top executives have repeatedly said they’ve been positively surprised by how little the shift has affected productivity.
Deutsche Bank is becoming “more aggressive about how we want to use the space, given what we are learning now about the way the workforce will choose to engage and choose to work every day,” Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke said on Tuesday.
The lender spent 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion) on rent and furniture last year, an amount it had expected to remain stable before the pandemic hit. After the experience of the first half, von Moltke said the bank now sees room to lower those costs.
Deutsche Bank earlier this week took a step in that direction when it gave up two of the five floors it rents in one of Zurich’s most expensive office buildings. A spokesman cited expectations that more people will work from home as one reason for the decision.
Deutsche Bank will also switch New York offices next year to cut office space three by almost a third. The lender has reduced its U.S. workforce by about a fifth over the past couple of years. The bank’s asset management unit DWS Group has recently moved to a cheaper London office.
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