(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. told staff to avoid scheduling calls and meetings from noon to 1 p.m., another step in Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser’s push to ease workers back into the office. 

In addition, Fraser said hour-long meetings should be shortened to 45 minutes so employees can use the extra time to prepare for their next task, check emails or knock out a to-do list. The Wall Street giant began inviting more workers back to its offices in the New York area and other big U.S. cities last month. 

“What I’m hearing now is that it is not simply the long hours taking a toll on our well-being. It is the density of the day,” Fraser said in a memo to staff. “For those of us who have returned to the office, the back-to-back calls and meetings that have become a feature of pandemic life make it a real challenge to take advantage of the benefits of actually being back in person.”

Citigroup has been slower than many of its peers to return staff to offices, moves that it says have helped it recruit from competitors. The firm has invited workers back to 21 offices across North America, though the Wall Street giant has promised that the majority will continue working from home at least part of the time even after the pandemic subsides. 

“It doesn’t matter if you are back in the office already, preparing to come back or still working from home, there is a pervasive feeling of being…unsettled,” Fraser said in the memo. “We have gone through a lot over the past 18 months, and more change is ahead. This means we have to keep refreshing how we’re working as we go.”


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