The Big Tech and banks face the question – to keep on working from home, or not?

In recent weeks big stories about dissatisfied Goldman Sachs employees have hit the media. We could only speculate, how much of it was due to the remote working necessity, and how much was caused by them being overworked.

David Solomon, who works as Goldman Sachs’ CEO openly denied that home office would in any matter become the new standard. In February, he expressed his worries about the ‘Cultural Capital’ loss and the ‘Connective Tissue’ of the whole organization. He’s not the only one with these thoughts, as other banks have also been concerned about it.

 Behavox has issued a report, where they identified few instances which seem to be present in different enterprises in the U.S., the UK, and Canada. They surveyed employees, and the findings are indeed very fascinating (and concerning).

  • – Almost 50% of employees have witnessedinappropriate behaviour while on the online (video) conference meetings;
  • – 13% of employees were recipients of racist jokes, 12% experienced sexist jokes, and 12% were the target of inappropriate jokes (other than sexist and racist);
  • – 9% experienced angry outbursts on the video calls, with 49% outbursts terminating the calls (in the U.S.).

 Behavox’s founder and CEO, Erkin Adylov recently spoke about the link between the roles of CEOs and Human Resources and the productivity of the business, and the corporate cultures’ health. He names the mentioned report the ‘reality check’ for C-suites and HR teams. The pandemic and the new work model is really testing their abilities of risk managing, sustaining the business continuity, as well as protecting the morale of staff.

 The findings available in the report show the risks and things that need to be worked on. And there is a lot to do, as it appears.

How many people will be affected by the decision whether to keep on working remotely, or not

In the UK only there are more than 1 million people employed in the sector of financial services. So in total, it gives us tens of millions, who are still wondering about the post-Covid future. And it’s much more than the population of the tech giants.

 The challenges awaiting the banks that are involved in Asset Management and Capital Markets are completely different. The story of the Japanese Central Bank hit the news in September, as the bank required its traders to work from their standard offices.

 And just as a reminder, there are a lot of different communication channels that have been available for a while now. There are predictions that the surveillance technology market will reach 23% this year. And the SurveilTech and monitoring tools costs are immense in investment banking. This of course generates additional expenses influencing millions upon millions of employees worldwide.

 There is extra pressure on the banks to control costs (as Covid-19 prevention measures appeared to be really expensive) and protecting the employees safe in the meantime. It could really get confusing.

What could be the post-Covid future hold for Big Tech

One of the first Big Tech companies to bring their staff back to stationary work is Uber. The plan was to reach 20% occupancy by the end of March. In May, Facebook also plans to return to the offices in Silicon Valley, and there have been some hints suggesting that if somebody isn’t willing to do so, they could be exposed to the pay cuts.

Google is still waiting (until September) to make the decision, while Twitter has already allowed their staff to work permanently from home. The different policies could be appealing or not, but it will be interesting to see the employees’ responses. Now that they will most likely be able to work remotely long-time (in some cases, of course), we could witness ‘digital migration’. Because why shouldn’t they travel to some more attractive destination, while still doing the same work?

To find more information about the topic of remote working, and where could you move if you’ll be working from home, visit the Disruption Banking piece by Andy Samu: https://disruptionbanking.com/2021/03/31/work-from-home-or-not-the-question-that-banks-and-big-tech-face-in-the-post-covid-era/.

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