Speaking at the Credit Suisse Group AG conference, Solomon called working from home an “aberration” and basically hinted that Goldman Sachs would not be remote moving forward.
“This is not ideal for us and it’s not a new normal,” Sachs said on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. “It’s an aberration that we are going to correct as quickly as possible.”
The “new normal” is a reference to the future of work and how some companies have said they will adopt the remote working policy permanently even after the pandemic ends.
A recent report by Flex Jobs found that a number of companies like Dropbox, Slack, and others are allowing workers to work from home for good, while others like Facebook plan to allow up to 50% of their workforce stay remotely forever, but plans to have other workers come back to the office by July.
In April, Solomon, 59, told CNBC that the early stages of the pandemic made him rethink the future of the office due to the new bond forged between employee and employer.
“When you go through something like this, it forces you to ask questions and think about things differently,” Solomon said at the the time.
“It will make us more comfortable in providing more flexibility to employees, which, by the way, makes this a more attractive place for people to work.”
But Solomon has been pushing to get workers back into the office, according to Bloomberg, and he’s been one of the “vocal business leaders” pushing the government to bring employees back to work faster.
“The vaccine distribution and the process of recovery has been a little bit slower in the first quarter than some of us had hoped,” Solomon said, while adding that a new COVID-19 relief bill could bring a “very, very strong tailwind” for economic recovery.
Bloomberg reported that Goldman Sachs had nearly 25% of its workforce back in its offices in New York and London during the pandemic, while in Asia, half of the company’s employees have returned to work.
“I am very focused on the fact that I don’t want another class of young people arriving at Goldman Sachs in the summer remotely,” Solomon said, referring to new hires getting their feet wet on Wall Street.
As Goldman Sachs looks to reopen its offices sooner to all, a recent report by CHG Healthcare found that nearly a third of Americans have no interest in returning to a physical office again, preferring to work from home or virtually, and only 9% of workers want to return to the office full-time.
It should be interesting how companies cater to employees’ needs once vaccination rollout begins to accelerate.