By Steve Watkins – Staff Reporter, Cincinnati Business Courier
Published By: Columbus Business First
May 19, 2021, 6:33am EDT
Fifth Third Bank is ending its hybrid model across Ohio next month, halting the policy of employees rotating between working in offices and at home.
Cincinnati-based Fifth Third, the ninth-largest U.S.-based consumer bank, told employees late last week it will halt the rotation of employees at its headquarters and at other office and customer service locations in Ohio starting June 2.
That coincides with the date Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine set last week to drop most pandemic-related health orders, including a mask mandate.
Most of Fifth Third’s 21,500 employees have been working in offices throughout the pandemic, including those at bank branches. But nearly 10,000 had worked remotely until April. A small amount will continue to work remotely on a long-term basis.
Fifth Third said last month it would bring back the vast majority of its other employees on a one-week in, one-week remote basis. That was due to capacity restrictions.
Fifth Third spokesman Ed Loyd confirmed that the company will no longer have those restrictions and will remove those rotations as of June 2.
“We are excited to have more employees back in our offices and bringing life back into the heart of our city and local communities,” Loyd told me. “As a relationship bank, collaboration is a core component of how we do business. Being together in person supports our culture and the way we work together, and it also promotes the spontaneous exchange of better ideas and solutions for our customers.”
Fifth Third is largely making similar changes to the rest of its operations. It operates 1,100 retail branches in 11 states in the Midwest and Southeast. But those policies vary elsewhere according to local rules.
“We are continuing to follow local and state guidelines which vary across our footprint and have made a clear effort to ensure customer and employee safety is always a paramount concern,” Loyd said.