We’ll see you on Monday: Goldman Sachs boss Richard Gnod leads the call for a return to office
- Boss expects about 70% of Goldman Sachs employees to return in the next few weeks
Goldman Sachs boss Richard Gnod has sounded a rally for the city, saying he expects his workers to be back in office on Monday morning.
Gnodde, the head of Goldman Sachs International, estimates that around 70 per cent of workers will return to work in the next few weeks after Covid restrictions are eased in England on Monday.
Termed ‘Independence Day’, almost all rules for socializing and wearing a mask will be removed.
Back in the office: Richard Gnoday, head of Goldman Sachs International, estimates about 70 percent of employees will return to work in the next few weeks
Firms have taken different approaches to mask rules and Gnodde said employees would have to wear masks ‘when not at their desks’ at Goldman’s London office off Fleet Street.
But, unlike some businesses, employees will not need to be fully vaccinated if they want to return.
The investment bank in London has around 6,000 people. Gnodde said: ‘The center of gravity for our workforce will be in our buildings and it will be in this building.
‘We believe it’s really important for our people to be together.’
He said: ‘Our focus is very much on securing a safe workplace. People will still be wearing masks in the building.
‘We will not force them to come in. Our focus will be on creating a safe environment where people feel comfortable.
Asked if there is a reluctance to return some employees and whether this could lead to drastic measures, he said: ‘We will try to understand the issues and your concerns and we will see if we can address them. ‘
Goldman has taken a tough stand on work from home for several months. In February, global chief executive David Solomon slammed it as an ‘aberration’ and dismissed the idea of it being the ‘new normal’.
Solomon – who enjoys DJ-ing under the name D-Soul in his spare time – said it doesn’t suit a Goldman-like work culture.
But the investment bank is, along with many of its peers in London, choosing a more cautious approach.
JPMorgan will require face masks and put employees on a rotating schedule at its UK offices with a 50 per cent occupancy limit.
And Bank of America expects only a few hundred of London’s 4,500 employees to return.
Gnodde’s comments come as landowner giant Landsec figures more than 70 per cent of London’s white-collar workers have already started working one day per week in the office, while nearly a third have returned to pre-Covid routines.
Some firms, such as digital payments app Revolut, have started doing permanent ‘flexible’ work that will see their people alternate between home and office.
Critics of flexible working claim it can stifle productivity and sound the death knell for businesses in cities such as bus and train firms, restaurants, bars and shops that rely on commuters.