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American Express CEO Says Most Employees Will Work Remotely for the Rest of 2020

By Eric Volkman – May 20, 2020 at 5:56AM

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A majority of the company's 64,500 workers will continue to telecommute.

Don't expect to see most employees of American Express (AXP 3.88%) back at the office anytime soon. Steve Squeri, CEO of the payment card giant, has announced in a video message to employees that the majority of them will continue to work remotely through the end of this year.

Although the company wants to phase in an eventual full return once the coronavirus pandemic subsides, it doesn't yet have a timetable for doing so. Once it begins this migration, it expects the process to take a number of months in a majority of its locations.

Airport lounge with American Express branding.

An airport lounge with American Express branding. Like the company's offices worldwide, it's looking pretty deserted. Image source: American Express.

"The key here is that returning to the office will not happen all at once," Squeri said in the video. "We will open buildings on a location-by-location, floor-by-floor, and colleague-by-colleague basis, as each location and floor is different."

Like other finance sector companies of its scope, American Express is a sprawling business; it employs roughly 64,500 people globally. Its headquarters is in New York City, which has been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus.

As the company starts to bring its people back to the office, it will undertake a series of measures to protect their health. Squeri said that face masks will be mandatory when entering and moving around the buildings, and social distancing will be practiced in the way employees are arranged at their desks. Other rules include a ban on meetings in company conference rooms, and a no-visitors policy.

On Tuesday, American Express shares slumped more or less in concert with the major stock market indexes, falling by 1.3%.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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