Goldman Sachs’ CEO David Solomon has made no secret of his dislike of remote working. He has called it an “aberration” and rejected claims that it would be the new normal in the post-pandemic world.
The bank’s US and UK employees have been told they should be ready to return to their offices in June.
For UK employees, the date set is the 21 June, which is when the UK’s lockdown restrictions officially come to an end. While US employees will be asked to return to office one week earlier on 14 June.
An internal Goldman Sachs memo explained the decision by noting: “While each community is at a different stage of managing through the pandemic, we continue to be encouraged by the rollout of vaccines in a number of jurisdictions, as well as by the effectiveness of the health and safety protocols we have put in place across Goldman Sachs campuses to protect our people.
“Building on this momentum, we are focused on progressing on our journey to gradually bring our people back together again, where it is safe to do so, and are now in a position to activate the next steps in our return to office strategy [in the US and the UK].”
The memo echoed Solomon’s previous statements about remote working and its inability suit innovative and collaborative workplace cultures.
It also emphasized that remote working was particularly challenging for younger workers.
The memo said: “We will also welcome nearly 5,400 interns, analysts, and associates over the coming months, who will be joining us in person and look forward to forging close bonds with their colleagues and living our culture first-hand.”
This move by Goldman Sachs comes amid reports of unpleasant and intense working conditions at the bank and attempts to tackle extreme staff burnout.
This helps to explain why the memo also notes that the bank will take into account some peoples’ desire for flexibility, particularly when linked with their mental wellbeing.
“We will also continue to consider the potential for rotational schedules, where applicable, as we manage capacity in our offices and progressively return,” added the memo.
The memo concluded that Goldman Sachs is “committed to listening to our people to understand how we can continue to best support you” and thanked its employees for their hard work during the pandemic.