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Mastercard logoImage copyright
Reuters

Mastercard staff can continue working from home until they “feel comfortable” going to the office amid the pandemic.

The credit card firm employs about 20,000 people globally, with a “large percentage” now working from home.

Rather than forcing them back to offices, staff can make their own decision on timings, it said.

Twitter said last week it would allow staff to work from home “forever” as a growing number of firms rethink work arrangements.

“Today, a large percentage of our team is working remotely, even as most offices remain open,” a Mastercard spokesman said.

“At the end of the day, our employees will make the decision on when they feel comfortable returning to an office. They know their personal circumstances and needs”.

Tech giants Facebook and Google have also relaxed back-to-office policies and say they will let employees to continue working from home for the rest of the year.

Waiting for a vaccine

While about 90% of Mastercard’s employees are working from home, this may go down once there is adequate testing and a vaccine is found, it said.

In an interview with the BBC’s Asia Business Report, Mastercard’s chief executive Ajay Banga said he thought that was still “some time away”.

“I’m not planning on getting back to a pre-Covid growth scenario for another year. I think that could be sometime next year when a vaccine is readily available and readily distributed.”

Future of work

Mastercard said it was also looking at consolidating some of its offices. It has created a “future of work” task force that is figuring out how best to handle employee needs and real estate amid the coronavirus crisis.

The company has its headquarters New York, but also has regional hubs in Dubai, Singapore and Brussels.

UK bank Barclays has also questioned the need for having thousands of its workers in big and expensive city offices. This “may be a thing of the past”, its chief executive Jes Staley said last month.

About 70,000 of Barclays’ staff worldwide are working from home due to coronavirus lockdown measures which has led to a rethink of the bank’s long-term “location strategy”, Mr Staley said.

Mastercard employees who work in its offices must now follow social distancing rules, wear face masks and undergo temperature checks.

“One day, I think probably aided by a vaccine, and the ability therefore for the workers and consumers to get the confidence they need, we can get back to thinking about a pre-Covid kind of growth stage,” said Mr Banga. “I still think that’s some time away.”