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Mastercard 'future of work' taskforce to consider real estate consolidation

Mastercard 'future of work' taskforce to consider real estate consolidation

Mastercard has set up a 'future of work' taskforce to look at options for consolidating office locations and extending its home working programme beyond the current lockdown period.

Almost 90% of the card scheme's employees globally are working remotely, with social distancing measures and temperature checks a fact of life for the ten percent who continue to man the firm's offices.

Speaking to Reuters, chief people officer Michael Fraccaro says Mastercard will not ask employees to return to its worldwide corporate offices until they are comfortable that the coronavirus outbreak is under control.

In the interim, the company's future of work taskfore will assess the firm's real-estate footprint, operating under the expectation that many of its 20,000 employees worldwide may choose to continue to work remotely when the health crisis passes.

When the situation stabilises, companies around the world may find that their offices are only about 30% full, Fraccaro told the newswire.

“We have stated upfront to all our employees, that it is their choice ... we want them to make the decision on when they feel comfortable returning to the office,” he said.

“Once there is adequate testing and there is a vaccine and people feel comfortable to return, then we may see more,” Fraccaro continued. “But in the early phases it will be vastly less than what we had.”

In a conference call last month, Barclays CEO Jess Staley told shareholders that once the immediate threat has subsided, there may well be a "long-term adjustment about how we think about our locations. The notion of putting 7000 people in a building may be a thing of the past."

Citigroup, for instance, is considering a temporary relocation to the suburbs until it’s safe to return to Manhattan, while Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman has already mused on a future with "much less real estate".

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