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Goldman Sachs boss says remote work is an ‘aberration’

Why Goldman Sachs’ CEO wants people back in the office.

Yessi Bello-Perez

Around The World

Unleash Your People David Solomon, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, has rejected remote work as the ‘new normal.’

  • Why Goldman Sachs’ CEO wants people back in the office.
  • Does the future of work look different for tech-savvy tech companies and traditional organizations?

David Solomon, the chief executive officer at Goldman Sachs, has said remote working is an “aberration.”

Speaking at a conference earlier this week, the bank boss rejected the idea of remote working as the new normal:

“I do think for a business like ours, which is an innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture, this is not ideal for us. And it’s not a new normal. It’s an aberration that we’re going to correct as soon as possible.” 

The CEO said he was concerned incoming recruits, who wouldn’t get the “direct mentorship” they required.

“I am very focused on the fact that I don’t want another class of young people arriving at Goldman Sachs in the summer remotely,” he added.

“I don’t think as we get out of the pandemic the overall operating mode of the way a business like ours operates will be vastly different,” Solomon said.

Other banking giants have expressed concerns about remote working in recent months. 

In September 2020, JP Morgan’s chief executive Jamie Dimon said remote working was having a negative impact on productivity.

However, Lloyds Banking Group recently shared plans to reduce the amount of office space it uses by 20% within three years. HSBC, on the other hand, announced a significant 40% cut in its office footprint.

Legacy systems and cybersecurity concerns

The rise of remote working tools bring several business challenges, particularly when it comes to organizational and information security.

Tech-savvy, agile, distributed businesses are likely to handle the shift to remote or hybrid working environments much better than those organizations running on legacy, centralized systems.

It’s therefore hardly surprising that Big Tech has largely welcomed the idea of sticking with remote, or hybrid, working models.

Facebook and Twitter were quick to announce their intention to offer remote work at the start of the pandemic. Microsoft is also letting employees work from home on a permanent basis.

Spotify said it would also allow employees to keep working remotely and to choose what country they want to work from.

Indeed, the pandemic has forced businesses to change how they think about work, time, and space. Earlier this month, Salesforce claimed the 9-to-5 workday was “dead” and many other organizations are putting policies in place to ensure that workers have the choice, and flexibility, to work from home or the office.

For the second time over the past 12 months, HR departments are being thrust into the spotlight. This time, they’ll have to engineer compliant solutions that cater to the needs of organizations and individuals alike.

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