Daily Management Review

Work From Home Is Not The 'New Normal', Says Goldman Sachs Boss


Work From Home Is Not The 'New Normal', Says Goldman Sachs Boss
Working from home or remote working should not be considered to be a a “new normal” according to Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon, who has described this phenomenon which got traction during the Covid-19 pandemic as an “aberration”.
There was less than 10 per cent of the staff of the investment bank in the office who ran the company during the entire of 2020 when the pandemic was raging throughout the world, Solomon said.
This view point of Solomon to see workers retu8rning back to their offices is in contrast to what many other companies are planning and had indicated that the regimen of working from home for their employees could be a regular phenomenon.
But such remote working is contrary to the work culture at Goldman Sachs, Solomon said.
“I do think for a business like ours, which is an innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture, this is not ideal for us. And it’s not a new normal. It’s an aberration that we’re going to correct as soon as possible,” he said at a conference recently.
The executive was particularly concerned about an incoming “class” of about 3,000 new recruits who would be derived from getting the “direct mentorship” that they would need at the job.
“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 said.
While accepting that the wider acceptance of digital technologies has been possible because of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the creation of new ways for better and more efficient functioning of the investment bank, that would not result in some major changes for the long term according to Solomon.
“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,” he said.
Apparently there are others in the finance sector who seem to agree to Solomon’s view point on remote working. For example, JP Morgan’s chief executive Jamie Dimon had said in September last year that his company had noted a negative effect on productivity because of employees working from home.
Hopes that the Covid-19 vaccines would soon enable the return to offices of employees were recently expressed by Barclays chief Jes Staley.
In contrast, plan of cutting down the amount of office space used by Lloyds Banking Group by about 20 per cent within the next three years was announced by the firm recently. A 40 per cent reduction in its office space was announced by HSBC.
There is more enthusiasm among tech firms about adopting a work from home regimen. Employees will be given the option of choosing to work from home on a permanent basis, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter has said. Within the next five to ten years, as much as 50 per cent of its staff could be working from home, Facebook has said. However, working from home could also come with potential reduced pay, the social media giant has also hinted, since the expenses of such remote workers would be lower compared to working in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.