Since the onset of the pandemic, the head of remote work opposition has largely been financial institutions.
Wall Street leaders have done nearly everything to bring employees back into the office over the last few years, and many have successfully done so in recent months.
However, research from the Women in Banking and Finance and the London School of Economics shows that the vast majority (95%) of workers within the financial industry prefer a hybrid approach — and current low office occupancy rates seems to support this desire.
“Experimentation within firms is the best way to understand what is needed for operations to run smoothly while allowing for maximum productivity,” the report from Dr. Grace Lordan, Dr. Jasmine Virhia, and Yolanda Blavo said. “Leaders need to let go of wanting to know what their team is doing every second of every day and focus on what they’re achieving.”
The argument financial leaders make in favor of a full return often revolves around the need for camaraderie, as the industry highly values its in-person mentorships. But even Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, who once called remote work an “aberration,” admitted he could only get his employees to return four days a week.
Some institutions have seemingly learned their lesson, with BlackRock bringing employees back to the office under a 3-2 model — three days in the office and two days spent working remotely.
The upcoming year will serve as a turning point for financial industry professionals and their workplace preferences. As anxiety festers due to the predicted 2023 recession, some experts expect workers to “job cuff” in order to maintain a consistent salary during the downturn.