Mastercard wants employees to make the choice, will allow them to work from home until pandemic is under control

The company said it wants employees to make the decision on when they feel comfortable returning.

Reuters
Mastercard joins other technology and financial firms that have said they do not plan to implement widespread get-back-to-the-office initiatives any time soon, including its main rivals American Express Co and Visa Inc.
Mastercard Inc will not ask employees to return to its worldwide corporate offices until they are comfortable that the sometimes fatal coronavirus is under control with vaccines or other measures, a senior executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

The world's second-largest payment processor is also looking at its real-estate footprint and considering consolidating offices, Chief People Officer Michael Fraccaro said.

"We expect in the coming weeks and months that more employees will continue to work from home than come into office," he said. "And we are OK with that. We support that choice."


While some Mastercard staff have young children or parents to look after, others are concerned about taking public transport to work.

"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.

The company employs nearly 20,000 people globally, with its main headquarters in Westchester, a New York City suburb. Mastercard owns that campus, which it purchased from IBM in 1994.
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When the situation stabilizes, companies around the world may find that their offices are only about 30% full, Fraccaro said, leading Mastercard to think about its future real-estate needs.

Mastercard joins other technology and financial firms that have said they do not plan to implement widespread get-back-to-the-office initiatives any time soon, including its main rivals American Express Co and Visa Inc.

Mastercard has created a "future of work" task force that is figuring out how best to handle real estate and employee needs, Fraccaro said.

About 90% of its workforce is operating remotely, including those based in overseas locations including Beijing and Shanghai, Fraccaro said. Employees who work in offices must follow social distancing rules, wear masks and undergo temperature checks, he said.
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"Once there is adequate testing and there is a vaccine and people feel comfortable to return, then we may see more," he said. "But in the early phases it will be vastly less than what we had."

Work From Home Like A Pro: Water Cooler Chat, Breaks & Boundaries Can Make Your Life Easy
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Like most companies, Microsoft’s employees are working from home too. And to aid those working remotely, the company has put together a handy “Guide to working from home.” It is a document that Microsoft has created “to provide their employees with guidance, tips, and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak. The company has made this available publicly for other companies to use as a starting point for guiding their employees to work remotely.



Here are some interesting tips from the presentation:

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Start by identifying a ‘work base’ where your equipment and materials remain undisturbed, even if you shift locations during the day. This is essentially your workstation. Maybe you could even consider personalising it, the way your actual workstation in office is.
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Technology is helping as many are moving conversations to virtual meeting rooms, with video calls. You may want to brush up on your video etiquette. For example, check your surroundings. Be aware of what is in view, and try to minimize distractions and protect privacy. Pets and kids may pop in anyway but one lives in hope.
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In a virtual setting it is hard to tell when it’s polite to interject and when it’s not. If you are the team lead, make sure there’s time and opportunity for all voices to be heard. Perhaps intervene..
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We may be social distancing but we sure miss socialising. So make up for missing hallway talk or connecting in the kitchenette or café by using chat messages or calling. Set yourself a reminder to check in with people regularly. Perhaps take a coffee break separately but together. Keep up the rituals.
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It can be a challenge to switch ‘off’ from work when you don’t leave the office—or switch ‘on’ your workday when you don’t leave the house. If needed, set clear intentions about work time and home time to avoid burnout or being ‘always on.
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