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Credit: Crain's

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February 2023

    Work From Home "Doesn't Work" for Young Employees, Claims the CEO of Chase

    Citing research and coding as two professions that can be done 

    remotely, Dimon said in an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos that "it doesn't work for  young kids, spontaneity, or managing." There are positions where it is appropriate."

    — (Bloomberg) Working remotely "doesn't work," according to Wall Street titan Jamie Dimon, for younger employees or managers.

    JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s CEO, citing research and coding as two professions that can be done remotely, said in an interview with CNBC Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos that "it doesn't work for young kids, spontaneity, or managing." There are positions where it is appropriate.

    Dimon's remarks coincide with a general slowdown in the financial sector and growing indications of a recession, which have led major banks to reduce bonuses, lay off employees, and put a halt to hiring. Despite the fact that the overall employment market is still healthy, workers across all industries are more worried than ever that managers will exploit return-to-office (RTO) rules as an excuse to fire them. Junior bankers, who are dealing with their first difficult business climate, may become more anxious as a result of Dimon's comment about younger employees.

    Given the disproportionate amount of caring responsibilities placed on women, Dimon added that remote work can "assist" them. Change your business to allow more time for women to stay at home, he advised. According to a current study of more than 10,000 white-collar workers from the Future Forum, a research consortium supported by Salesforce Inc.'s Slack, half of working mothers want to work remotely most of the time or all of the time.

    Dimon has been one of the most outspoken opponents of remote work, along with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO David Solomon and Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman. However, despite their remarks, the heads of large banks have recently admitted that their employees often only work three to four days each week. Some Wall Street executives, including Jane Fraser of Citigroup, have become more tolerant of the idea that working remotely can increase engagement and even productivity. They recently stated that Wall Street's reliance on full-time office attendance felt outmoded. However, Fraser acknowledged last week that if a worker's productivity declines, they should prepare to work longer hours.

    On a separate Bloomberg Television interview Gorman declared on Thursday that spending five days a week in the office "won't happen again," and Dimon has previously acknowledged that approximately 40% of his workers will employ a hybrid work schedule that alternates between days spent in the office and at home.
    According to continuing polls of tens of thousands of workers conducted by WFH Research, a group that includes Stanford University remote-work specialist Nicholas Bloom, hybrid-work models are currently by far the most preferred strategy for desk workers.


    According to badge data from security company Kastle Systems, office occupancy in New York City for the week ending January 11 was 45.6% of a pre-pandemic baseline. That isn't any greater than the levels observed in mid-September, when some organizations issued new RTO rules.

    The flexibility that many white-collar professionals have come to expect, meanwhile, could be in jeopardy in some industries as layoff announcements are becoming more frequent. Despite its plans to cut up to 3,200 positions, Goldman will nonetheless make selective hires across the board. With the exception of the most important positions, Bank of America Corp. is pausing its hiring process. According to Gorman, Morgan Stanley has been "overdue" for right-sizing the staff because it hasn't taken many steps to cut back lately. However, the company had already started a new round of job layoffs.

    Dimon's perspective on remote work may serve as a caution to those under him when those personnel changes play out. He said, "We shouldn't grease the noisy wheel." "You can work from home while writing your book."

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