Goldman Sachs wants workers in the office five days a week, and other companies may follow suit

Goldman Sachs wants In an interview with Fortune released last week, investment company CEO David Solomon said employees would return to the office five days a week.

Five weeks after the unsuccessful attempt to return Goldman Sachs employees to their New York headquarters, they were closed for a month due to the epidemic of the highly contagious Covid omicron, followed by office work on February 1. The place was reopened. Fortune reports that only about half of Goldman’s 10,000 workers appeared at headquarters. Goldman Sachs declined to comment further on CNBC MakeIt’s plans to return to the office.

Solomon reveals aversion to remote work, despite other leading companies such as Citigroup, Meta, UBS, and Twitter embracing flexibility and forcing employees to work from home on a regular basis. did. At last year’s Treasury meeting, Solomon said: Working from home is an “abnormality” that he wanted to fix “as soon as possible”.

“For a business like us, an innovative and collaborative apprenticeship culture, this is neither ideal nor new common sense for us,” he added.

As Covid cases and hospitalizations continue to plummet across the United States, do you see other companies demanding workers to return to the office full-time, or do hybrid setups dominate? CNBC Make It talks to business and health professionals about what workers can expect to see plans to return to the office in the coming months.

More companies can ask workers to return to the office full time

According to a recent survey by technology consulting firm Gartner, more than 90% of employers plan to adopt a hybrid model this year. However, researchers say they are full-time offices because some prominent companies will “change their course” in the coming months, and employees are aware of high turnover and loss of organizational culture. Is operated.

Two years after the pandemic, more executives want to return to the office on a consistent schedule. Future Forum, a research consortium in Slack, interviewed nearly 11,000 knowledge workers in the United States, France and other countries in November, with executives compared to 30% of non-executives. I work in the office 3-4 days a week. In addition, 44% of remote executives say they want to work in the office every day, but only 17% of employees do the same.

Now that one prominent CEO, Solomon, has announced his intention to return to the office altogether, but more companies could be inspired to follow suit.

“Most companies are watching what other companies are doing before working on an RTO project,” said Peter Cappelli, a professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. I think we can see more stampede of others doing the same thing. “

Being in the office full time is “much safer now”

Dr. Robyn Gershon, a clinical professor of epidemiology at NYU’s Faculty of Global Public Health, is confident that employees will not have to wear masks or be six feet away from their colleagues as long as they are fully vaccinated with Covid. He says he can go back to the office.

According to Gershon, there is no significant difference in virus exposure between working in the office and working five days a week. “Some people may want to go back to work, but the worst of this pandemic is over,” she says. “Currently, the virus infection rate is very low and the vaccination rate is very high, so it is much safer to go to the office full-time than at any time in the last two years.”

People with underlying health, young unvaccinated children, or people living with people who are susceptible to serious illness wear N95 masks in the office to protect them from direct exposure to the virus. You need to consider that.

Gershon also recommends wearing a mask in a crowded area and washing your hands all day, but otherwise says no additional health precautions are needed for now.

It’s important to note that Covid appears to have the least concern about returning to the office. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, 61% of people working from home say that the office is the main reason Covid wants to work from home (currently 42% vs. 57 in 2020). %).

Why companies can regain their promise of hybrid work

Executives promote a variety of incentives to return to the office, including collaboration between teams, networking, and improved connectivity. But Cappelli says the real reason companies want full returns is much simpler. Hybrid work is still new and much easier for businesses. Stick to what they know.

“During this crisis, we are learning to work remotely some or all of the time on the fly. Even moving parts that are difficult to manage without full confidence and unpredictability. There are many. What are the consequences: How do you measure the performance of people in the remote and office equally if you don’t agree on how many days your employees will come, or avoid proximity bias? “

Enterprises may consider moving to a remote or office full-time to avoid such headaches. It’s still very new to most employers. ”

People who work from home say they helped improve the balance between work and life, manage childcare responsibilities, and increase productivity, but such praise prevents businesses from returning to the office. May not be enough, says Cappelli. “Just because an employee wants something doesn’t mean they get it.”

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