The United States and Europe are divided over bringing bankers back to office

A transatlantic crack in banking has been uncovered over the ability of employees to return to office quickly, with some U.S. executives calling for a quick return to normal from the epidemic, and many of their European counterparts taking a more cautious approach.

JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs called all U.S. employees to their offices as early as next month. In contrast, European banks are returning to the office from the London-based HSBC to the French Society Gonারalves in France with a more cautious and more relaxed attitude towards flexible work.

“Some banks are very traditional in their approach to the workplace, and people really want to come back to the offices,” said Darin Buello, DeLitt’s global positioning strategy leader. “Then there’s the other end of your spectrum where your financial services companies are. . . To be very thoughtful and careful about where and how people can work. “

Last week, JPMorgan’s chief executive, Jamie Damon, launched an emotional defense to return to office, announcing that he was canceling all future Zoom meetings because he “did it.”

Dimon added, “We want people to come back to work and my vision is that in September, October it will look the same as before,” Dimon added.

Damon said clients told him that in cases where JP Morgan lost business to the peers, it was because “other people’s bankers went, and we didn’t. – Well, that’s a lesson.”

Frederick Odia, chief executive of the French donor society Gonrale, disagreed. Last week he said the idea of ​​“spending 22 hours a day in the office almost winning” was outdated. He dismissed Daemon’s concern that bankers could lose contracts without facing clients.

Socgen also announced an agreement with the unions to allow all French workers to work from home three days a week after the decline. Odia plans to roll out the policy globally and says it will facilitate the recruitment of “young talent” who “just the way they didn’t see the world two years ago”.

Similarly, HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn Extinct The whole executive floor of London’s skyscrapers. Officeless C-Suite managers now heat desks on the floor of an open plan. This is part of the original plan to reduce head office costs by 40 percent worldwide. Quinn says he will, for example, often lead himself by working from a distance and killing him. Business travel By half

Even with divisions with the same bank, some European-based investment bankers prevented Dictate from returning to their desks the entire time. At Credit Suisse’s Canary Wharf office, where about 30 percent of employees are working any day, there is no prospect of a full return until September vs. July for colleagues in New York.

“Most investment banks have an involved office culture, [but] There is some resistance from the workers, ”said a credit suite banker. “There is a price to be paid but do you need to be there five more days a week? No “

In favor of a return to the pre-epidemic norm, the consultant said, remote work reduces the company’s culture, makes it more difficult to train young workers, and hurts the competition to win business from clients.

However, proponents of the hybrid approach have argued that Covid has proven that remote operations will not affect productivity, with investment banks reporting record revenues in 2020.

Meanwhile, flexible policies can help attract young talent who can return to hard-working patterns. Google says one-fifth of employees can work permanently from home, while the rest will come three days a week and have the option of spending two days “where they will work best”.

“There is data that supports both ends of the spectrum,” said Buello from Deloitte, adding that a weaker company culture can increase turnover, but giving workers more freedom can increase both workers ’satisfaction and productivity.

Banks are also paying close attention to employee morale after the epidemics Revived criticism The relentless, hard-working culture that pervades the industry.

Last month, a regulatory program manager at HSBC in London Went viral on LinkedIn When he described his decision to prioritize work over his health during a heart attack.

And in February, first-year investment banking analysts at Goldman Sachs presented management with a slide deck that describes the hard work situation, sparking a rare clear light on the pressures of young people working in investment banking. Based on a survey of 13 analysts, Slide Deck reported an average of 95 weeks of work week, including 3 hours of sleep a night, starting at 3 p.m.

The chief executive of a bank in the UK said the task of changing flexible jobs would be more difficult than changing public housing a year ago. They said that the initial experience with part-video, part-in-private meetings confused the participants and kept them less busy.

“We know how to conduct business with people in the office, we know how to conduct it with people at home,” the person said. “But this hybrid model has a significant number and a significant number at home with. . Proof is going to be harder than all-in or all-out.

Additional reports by Michael O’Dwyer and Nicholas Mega

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