Wall Street reluctantly prepares for remote work, unthinkable before Covid

In private, many senior bank executives charged with increasing the footfall of their direct reports have expressed their irritation. They said it was unfair that highly paid employees continued to work from home while others – such as bank tellers or construction workers – dutifully come every day. Salaries for New York-area investment banks averaged $ 438,450 in 2020, up 7.8% from the previous year, according to data from the Comptroller’s Office. State, Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Two senior executives, who declined to be identified to discuss personnel matters, said they could kick out subordinates who do not wish to return to the office regularly. Another official expressed frustration over a worker who refused to show up at the office, citing concerns about the virus – even though the person had recently traveled on vacation.

The leaders “didn’t feel they could push to bring people back to the office – and those who pushed were really pushed back,” said Ms. Wylde, of the New York City Partnership. “Financial services are one of those industries that are extremely competitive for talent, so no one wants to be the bad guy. She expects the big financial firms to end up bringing workers back to the office by dangling salaries and promotions.

For now, banks resort to coaxing and pampering.

Free food trucks, meals, and snacks are sometimes offered, as are free Uber and Lyft rides. Dress codes have been relaxed. Large companies have adopted security protocols such as on-site testing and mask warrants in common areas. Goldman, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup require vaccinations for workers entering their offices, while Bank of America has only asked vaccinated staff to return after Labor Day. JPMorgan did not require vaccines for workers to return to the office.

At Citi, which has asked employees to come back at least two days a week starting in September, offices are about 70% full on the busiest days. Citi, whose CEO Jane Fraser began her job amid the pandemic, hired shuttles so employees coming to Midtown Manhattan from suburban homes could avoid taking the subway to downtown offices. city ​​of the bank. To allay concerns about increasing crime in New York City, at least one other company has hired shuttles to transport people a few blocks from the Pennsylvania train station to the Midtown offices, Ms. Wylde said.

According to Alan Johnson, chief executive of Johnson Associates, a Wall Street compensation consultancy, remote working arrangements are also emerging as a key consideration for workers interviewing for new jobs.

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