David Solomon, Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs, has called working from home an “aberration” and has said the company looks to correct this as soon as feasibly possible.
These comments were made in a conference earlier this week and contradicts the approach that many companies wish to instate, with the majority choosing hybrid working as a future work model.
Mr. Solomon revealed that, last year, the investment bank had operated with under 10 per cent of its staff physically in the office.
This is something that was dubbed as not ideal for the “innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture” that the bank fosters.
In particular, Mr. Solomon raised concerns about the effects permanent remote working would have on new graduate recruits.
Focussing on the fact that direct mentorship would not be as easily accessible to this group if they worked from home, Mr. Solomon stated:
I am very focused on the fact that I don’t want another class of young people arriving at Goldman Sachs in the summer remotely.
He further expressed his view about what effects the pandemic would have on the future of work:
I don’t think as we get out of the pandemic the overall operating mode of the way a business like ours operates will be vastly different.
This directly contradicts companies such as Unilever who stated in January 2021 that employees hired by their company will never go back to working in the office full-time.
Calling full-time office working “very old-fashioned”, Alan Jope (CEO of Unilever) did however state that he was keen to see staff return to the office in some capacity after witnessing a “slow erosion of social capital”.
Technology organisations such as Twitter and Microsoft have been much more eager to implement full-time remote working as an option for staff following the pandemic.
When taking into account what workers want, new research by Claromentis revealed that almost three quarters (73 per cent) of UK workers want a hybrid arrangement, splitting their time between home and the office.
Of this number, six in ten (60 per cent) want the flexibility to drop in to the office and co-work with their team when it suits them, while 29 per cent would prefer set days each week when the whole company has to be in the office.
Other firms within the financial sector such as Lloyds Banking Group announced its plans to cut office space by a fifth over the next three years, suggesting a greater move to hybrid or remote working in the future.
*The survey quoted was conducted by Claromentis who surveyed 1,017 UK white collar employees between 5-9 Feb 2021 during the third national lockdown. All had worked from home full time for at least 4 months since the start of COVID-19.