© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Nicolai Tangen speaks during a press conference in Oslo
By Gwladys Fouche OSLO (Reuters) – Staff at Norway’s $ 1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund will only be asked to come to work at the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, its chief executive said Monday. Norges Bank Investment Management, the division of the central bank that manages Norway’s wealth fund, would offer flexible work to its 520 employees in Oslo, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo and Luxembourg, Nicolai Tangen told a parliamentary hearing. “We are thinking that after the pandemic we will allow up to two days a week of home office and we have two fixed days in the office for everyone for meetings,” Tangen said, adding that this was a way to attract and retain talented staff. . . The policy would also apply to the rest of the central bank. “You need to offer flexibility in a different way than before. It’s just not acceptable to require people to be in the office all the time. I think it shows that people are not trusted,” Tangen told Reuters. The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund is among organizations, both large and small, rethinking the ways employees work as they adjust to health restrictions that have changed traditional patterns. In the financial sector, commercial banks are moving to take advantage of working from home to cut costs, while investment banks want traders and advisers to return to the office. Tangen also told the hearing that the fund would raise the bar on which companies will be included in its portfolio. “Now we will do more assessments before small businesses, before they are included in the portfolio,” he said. This will be in addition to a proposed plan to reduce the number of companies in the fund’s global benchmark, primarily by reducing the number of small companies.