Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs told its bankers in the US and UK on Tuesday that they should be ready to return to the office next month, as the two countries loosen restrictions in response to falling Covid-19 cases.
US staff were asked to be ready to report to the office by June 14, while UK employees will be called back one week later on June 21, according to an internal memo viewed by the Financial Times.
In other parts of the world where more progress in combating the coronavirus pandemic has been made, like the Asia-Pacific region, the bank’s offices are nearly full with returnees.
“We know from experience that our culture of collaboration, innovation and apprenticeship thrives when our people come together, and we look forward to having more of our colleagues back in the office so that they can experience that once again on a regular basis,” said the memo, signed by the bank’s three most senior executives, including chief executive David Solomon. The memo was first reported by Bloomberg.
The mandate follows a similar one from JPMorgan Chase, in which it told its US staff last week to be in position to be back in the office on a regular basis by early July as vaccine rollouts and lower infection rates have brought life in many US cities closer to normal.
Officials in New York, where Goldman Sachs has its headquarters, said they would lift most pandemic-era restrictions on businesses later this month, and New York City’s mayor has said he aims to reopen the city fully by July 1.
Top Wall Street executives have been eager see their offices return to normal, and some have criticised pandemic-induced work-from-home arrangements as unsustainable in the long term.
An Accenture study released on Tuesday said 78 per cent of finance executives would prefer employees to be in the office four to five days a week when the pandemic is over, but nearly 70 per cent believe their firm’s office policies may be an impediment in competing for talent.
Goldman Sachs said it was “committed” to giving staff the flexibility to continue managing both their professional and personal lives, and invited employees who were unable to comply with their division’s return-to-work plans to take it up with their managers.
The bank also said it would host 5,400 interns and junior bankers on its campuses over the next few months so they could experience “living our culture first-hand” after working virtually through the last year.