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Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon has called working from home an “aberration” and JPMorgan has just announced it wants all its US staff back in the office on a rotational basis by July.

But London – one of the world’s largest finance centers – is not following Wall Street’s lead.

Major financial firms are taking a softer approach to re-opening their large London offices, despite the fact the UK has vaccinated more than half its population and England is less than two months away from removing restrictions on social contact.

Insider spoke to financial workers, who asked for anonymity as they are not authorized to speak publicly, about the challenges of networking and training juniors online, working on nearly empty floors, and how their employers’ views of working from home has changed in an industry where personal connection is crucial.   

Even at the height of Britain’s first national lockdown last year, Goldman Sachs had at least 200 of its 6,500 London staff in the office. 

But there remains no obligation to return, and employees who spoke to Insider estimated just 30% of the total workforce were going in each day, with decisions about on-site staffing taken team-by-team and week-by-week. 

After his comments caused a stir, Solomon said on the bank’s most recent earnings call that returning to the office was “not inconsistent with the desire to provide our people with the flexibility they need to manage their personal and professional lives.”

But he added employees “operate at their best when they are forging close bonds with colleagues and furthering the apprenticeship culture that has defined us.”

“It’s impossible to train people from a longer distance.”   

One Goldman employee, working in London sales, said that working from home had been frustrating in his role. 

“I do a lot of training of our younger kids,” he said. “It’s …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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