Charlotte-based Bank of America has started curtailing its popular work-from-home program called “My Work”. The program started in 2005 and helped employees save commuting costs and balance work and family concerns.
Employee usage has risen steadily over the years, but now Bank of America is cutting back as part of a larger cost-cutting move called Project New BAC.
The goal: to cut $8 billion in costs and eliminate approximately 30,000 jobs nationally.
It is still not clear what the bank’s new work-from-home policy will be. It has asked managers to list which positions are appropriate for telecommuting and which are not. The bank may restrict work-from-home privileges to those with the most seniority.
Scaling back or eliminating “My Work” probably won’t be popular with employees. However, in today’s tight job market, the bank is probably betting its staff will accept the change, albeit grudgingly.
A long-standing practice of allowing those who work primarily from home to maintain offices at the bank is also likely to be axed.
Note: Working from home is a popular option for workers, but employers should develop sound policies for determining which positions and employees qualify for telecommuting. Also, employers must be very careful when discontinuing work-from-home privileges when the arrangement is a reasonable accommodation of an employee’s disability.
By allowing managers to make these determinations without any guidance, Bank of America risks discrimination charges in cases where one manager’s decision varies significantly from those other managers make.