Goldman Sachs calls time on working from home

Finance giant tells UK and US employees to return to the office from June

Young woman at home with laptop on desk having a break. Getty Images

Goldman Sachs plans to have UK and US staff return to its offices next month, in an unsurprising development after chief executive David Solomon in February called home working "an aberration".

UK employees should be ready on June 21 and US staff by June 14, according to an internal memo reported by Bloomberg.

The move follows an announcement last week from JPMorgan Chase that its workforce would be reincorporated into its offices on rotation from July.

Other finance companies are also starting to set policies for an eventual return.

Vanguard Group said it was planning a hybrid model for most of its 17,300 employees, and Ken Griffin’s Citadel expects to have most US staff back in its offices by June 1.

At Deutsche Bank, New York City workers will be allowed to work from home until July at least.

David Solomon joins JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon in counting on an expanding vaccination drive to hasten the revival of pre-pandemic routines in an industry where many have spent 14 months working online.

The two have been at the forefront in planning the most pressing timelines for returns to offices, which are likely to put pressure on other firms.

“We are focused on progressing on our journey to gradually bring our people back together again, where it is safe to do so,” Mr Solomon said in the memo.

An Accenture survey of 400 North American financial-services executives found that almost 80 per cent preferred workers to spend four to five days in the office when the pandemic is over.

 

Such plans could face resistance from staff, many of whom want to keep flexible schedules after proving they could stay productive while working from home, Accenture said.

In New York, home to the two banking giants, plans are under way to reopen fully in two weeks, marked by the return of arenas, gyms, stores, restaurants and hair salons, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.

Most capacity restrictions will also be lifted across New Jersey and Connecticut, while all-day subway service will resume in the city this month.

Goldman’s management is unlikely to follow a similar schedule in other countries as the virus charts an uneven course across the globe.

That is especially true for the firm’s large operations in Covid-ravaged India.

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