JP Morgan has asked its senior bankers in all of its offices around the world to work from the office five days a week in another sign of executives’ growing frustration with homeworking.
In a memo to staff JP Morgan’s operating committee said that its leaders play “a critical role in reinforcing our culture and running our businesses.”
“They have to be visible on the floor, they must meet with clients, they need to teach and advise, and they should always be accessible for immediate feedback and impromptu meetings. We need them to lead by example, which is why we’re asking all Managing Directors to be in the office five days a week,” the note said, which was sent to staff last Friday.
Managing directors are at the highest levels in the corporate structure of an investment bank except for the top executive positions. They typically head up business divisions.
The memo reminded hybrid-working staff that they still needed to be in the office three days a week.
“There are a number of employees who aren’t meeting their in-office attendance expectations, and that must change,” the bank said.
It said that managers could take “corrective action” if requirements were not being met. However, the memo also noted that its employees will “have flexibility, as appropriate”.
It also said that there was “significant work” going in to tracking attendance, particularly related to business travel and client meetings. “Tracking attendance is not only important to manage hybrid work schedules but also for real estate, resiliency and security purposes,” the note added.
“Working with one another — in person — is optimal for our company, our clients and our culture. Being together greatly benefits mentoring, learning, collaboration and execution — it is truly the foundation of our culture,” the note said.
Senior figures in both the private and public sector have fought an uphill battle to get employees to return to the workplace following the pandemic.
Last month, Lloyd’s of London chief John Neal called for a move away from the “Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday world”, adding that he now wants Lloyd’s staff to work in the firm’s City building on Mondays too.
The insurer is in talks to extend the lease on its City headquarters as it attempts to encourage employees back into the office.
“Flexibility is critically important but that ain’t about turning up two days a week,” Neal said.
However, not every institution has taken the same approach. HSBC meanwhile is planning to move to offices half the size of its current premises in Canary Wharf in a sign that it is more accepting of the shift to remote working.