News: With summer in sight, Goldman Sachs starts return-to-office push.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – At a global town hall meeting on Zoom Thursday, the CEO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said he hopes to the thousands of bank employees who have mainly worked from home since the pandemic began they are working offices again this summer.
The New York-based investment bank employs nearly 40,000 people worldwide, and its drive to get back to work has picked up momentum internationally. In India, many of the bank’s 10,000 or so employees are returning to offices in Bengaluru and Mumbai from their hometowns where they spent the pandemic. In London, traders, investment bankers and others can be tested for COVID-19 at booths in the building.
In New York, Chief Executive Officer David Solomon said the bank owed it to its new class of analysts and interns to keep them working in offices alongside other bank employees, if only for part of the summer period.
“Getting you to the office is the best way to connect you to Goldman Sachs,” Solomon said during the meeting, which was transcribed and shared with Reuters.
“We understand this will be a challenge until more of us are vaccinated. However, given the current rate of vaccination and the hope to be there by the summer, we believe we are well positioned and that we have a good chance of achieving this goal. “
Bringing people back comes with a number of challenges, however, even as countries lift many of last year’s coronavirus restrictions.
Less than 20% of people in the US have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, so many are afraid of getting infected at work or on their way to the office.
Solomon continued to work from Goldman’s Manhattan headquarters through most of the pandemic. Some employees say this put pressure on coming to the office.
Some say the pressures reverberate in other regions.
More than a dozen employees at the company’s Bengaluru-based technology and data center told Reuters that many of those who had left the city for their hometowns across India over the past year have now been told to return.
“They ask people to come back, but they still don’t force people,” said one employee.
“I think by mid-April the pressure would be too strong to resist. They say, “You should try to come back and see if you like the office atmosphere and then decide for yourself.”
“We continue to work on plans to get our employees back to the office safely and those plans will vary from department to department, from country to country, from city to city,” said Leslie Shribman, Goldman spokeswoman. “The safety of our employees is our number one priority and we will remain flexible as we oversee evolving government policies and the uneven global adoption of vaccines.”
CEO Solomon realized that working in the office was better for the bank, its employees and its customers.
“Our people do their best when they develop close relationships with their colleagues,” said Solomon. “We’ve found that it’s best to work together in person on a regular basis.”
Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall in New York and Arathy S. Nair and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Additional coverage from Tushar Goenka, Shilpa TM, Shaina Ahluwalia and Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Letter from Patrick Graham; Adaptation by Matthew Lewis
Original Source © Reuters