Get back to the office 5 days a week, says big bank

But in the larger workforce, pressure to end WFH varies by seniority

Get back to the office 5 days a week, says big bank

This week JP Morgan has told all of its Managing Directors to head back to the office for 5 days a week. The giant bank (which is also completing a giant office in Manhattan) has decided to bite the bullet and push for a five-day week back in the office. The announcement comes as no great surprise – CEO Jamie Dimon famously said that 'WFH doesn’t suit those who want to hustle' well over a year ago.

“Our leaders play a critical role in reinforcing our culture and running our businesses,” the bank said in an email to staff. “They have to be visible on the floor, they must meet with clients, they need to teach and advise, and they should always be accessible for immediate feedback and impromptu meetings. We need them to lead by example, which is why we’re asking all managing directors to be in the office five days a week.”

But as pressure grows in more companies for staff to head back to the office, it looks like the pressure may well not be equally applied. While many companies have called their employees back to the office, management level staff seem to be continuing to escape the daily commute – for now, at least.

According to executive search firm Cowen Partners, 80 percent of executive jobs are currently available remotely, compared to only 25 percent before the pandemic. Many executives claim they are capable of working from home on technology like Zoom, Slack, and Teams, and that it allows them to work odd hours and maintain work-life balance.

However, a new survey by freelance platform Fiverr found that more than half of managers and executives want their employees back in the office five days a week. They argue that the office environment makes it easier to access company resources, software, and IT, and is better for collaboration. One-third of those surveyed said employees are more motivated when they are monitored in person, while a quarter claimed that workers would take shorter breaks in the office. Another 25 percent cited the fact that they had already paid for office space as a reason to return.

Employees argue that remote work allows them to be more productive and achieve better work-life balance. Many workers also face issues like long commutes and expensive childcare, which their bosses may not fully understand.

  • Employers want to monitor their employees by having them in the office.

  • A third of managers (33%) believe that employees are more motivated when they know they are being watched by upper management, hence they want their employees back full-time.

  • Almost one in four managers (24%) believe that employees would take shorter breaks if they worked in the office full time.

  • Executives at larger companies are more likely to want employees back in the office.

  • Executives/managers at large companies (500+ employees) are most likely to want employees back full-time (67%).

  • Managers at large cap companies (revenue of $500 million+) are also more likely to want employees back full-time (57%).

  • Managers want employees back to justify fixed costs.

  • One in four managers surveyed (25%) want their employees back full-time because they’re paying for the office space.

  • 42% say that employees can more easily access and communicate with company infrastructure (computers, software, IT, printers, etc.) when they are in the office.

  • Employees say that small perks are not enough to bring them back full-time.

  • A majority of US workers surveyed who prefer to work remotely would return to the office if they received a salary bump (61%).

  • One in five workers (21%) say that absolutely no incentive would make them want to return to the office.

  • 42% of workers surveyed say they would consider quitting if forced to come back to the office full-time.

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