AUGUST 23, 2023
Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg–
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., one of Wall Street’s most ardent return-to-office champions, is cracking down on laggards.
The Wall Street giant is embarking on a fresh effort to enforce its policy of working from the office five days a week. Though revenue-producing employees have mostly returned full time, senior managers have grown frustrated by reluctance of staff in other groups constituting a significant chunk of its workforce.
“While there is flexibility when needed, we are simply reminding our employees of our existing policy,” human resources chief Jacqueline Arthur said in a statement. “We have continued to encourage employees to work in the office five days a week.”
Peers like Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have been tracking attendance and urging managers to enforce their three-days-a-week guidelines for many employees. At Citigroup, staffers were recently told they may face consequences if they don’t comply with attendance policies, potentially affecting pay. JPMorgan told employees in April that managing directors are expected to commute every day of the work week.
Goldman’s fresh effort shows that more than three years after the pandemic sent much of the industry home, even the firms most eager to refill their towers are having to cajole workers to resume their old ways. That tension can be felt across corporate America as many big firms contend with the challenges of enforcing stricter policies.
Attendance was still less than half of pre-Covid levels across 10 of the largest US business districts as of early August, according to data from Kastle Systems. That figure is roughly unchanged compared with the start of 2023.