Shift Change

The move to teleworking has accelerated, thanks to an array of remote technologies with a boost from COVID-19
In mid-June, financial services giant Goldman Sachs made headlines by requiring almost all its employees in its Manhattan global headquarters to report to the office, marking the historic end of the bank’s work-from-home era that began with New York City’s COVID-19 lockdown more than a year ago.

Elsewhere according to reports from Bloomberg, other Wall Street financial giants are taking a more measured approach; Citigroup says it won’t recall more of its staff to its Manhattan offices until July, and most workers in the longer term are being given the option of adopting a hybrid schedule between home and the office. On the other hand, JPMorgan Chase has already told all its US employees to be prepared for a return early in July, while Bank of America Corp. senior managers are already trickling back into their offices, but a more general restart is not expected until fall.

The return to Goldman’s office was characterized by high-fives and hugs, Bloomberg reports, fueled by free food in the cafeteria and conversation over company-provided coffee. Still, anxiety abounds as returning workers worry about such diverse concerns as summer child care and indoor air quality. It’s part of a stutter-step recovery scenario being played out across the country, as COVID-19 concerns get overtaken by questions about what any recovery might look like.

The seeds of upheaval in the workplace were actually being sown long before SARS-CoV-2 started raging across the globe, by employees seeking something the HR types dubbed ‘work-life balance.’ But the exigencies of the pandemic and the forced march toward remote technologies created a broader view of what can be considered the right way to structure a work environment.

Categories: Special ReportTechnology

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