Roy Gilbert

Back-to-office blues: Is Wall Street tone-deaf on remote work?

The remote work debate is playing out beyond the finance world as companies create back-to-office pathways that could very well leave some workers, such as those with elder and childcare responsibilities, out [File: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg] Mark, a vice president at a global bank, has a sweeping view of his bucolic backyard from his home office in suburban New Jersey in the United States. In between virtual meetings, he takes quick breaks to connect with his two elementary school-aged children and talk dinner logistics with his wife.

“Overall, working from home has been amazing for our family,” Mark, who asked not to use his last name due to job concerns, told Al Jazeera. “I feel like I’m even more productive because I don’t commute, and can step up in meaningful ways at home.”

That newly achieved work-life balance will all end this summer, however, when Mark expects to be summoned back to the office like many in the US financial industry. The heads of big Wall Street firms have made it clear that remote work isn’t working for them, and employees are being forced to follow suit.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon asserted that working from home “doesn’t work for those who want to hustle” earlier this month and predicted that “sometime in September, October, it will look just like it did before”.

For its part, Goldman Sachs told its employees to “make plans to be in a position to return to the office” by June 14 in the US and June 21 in […]