On New York’s Wall Street, the return to normal after Corona is also a return to the workplace: America’s largest bank, JP Morgan, is currently building a skyscraper with space for 14,000 employees. For the head of the bank, it goes without saying that the office culture will continue to exist after Corona. “We are building this tower for 50 years”. His colleague James Goldmann, head of Stanley Morgan, also made this clear: “If you can go to the restaurant, you can also come to the office.”
A survey of American managers supports Wall Street’s actions. Two thirds saw the end of the home office as foreseeable, three quarters were in favor of lower pay or the dismissal of employees who do not want to return to their jobs. The main criticism of many decision-makers about the home office: employees are less inspired and demotivated at home. JP Morgan boss Dimon said in a conference that the home office “slows down spontaneous learning and creativity” because you no longer meet by chance, for example at the coffee machine.
While 90 percent of the employees at JP Morgan now have to come back to the office regularly, companies like AirBnB see the obligation to be physically present as a phased-out model. It was recently announced there that all 6000 employees can stay in the home office “forever”. The tax consulting giant PwC and the US real estate platform Zillow have now also switched to flexible “teleworking”.
Politicians also support the “Great Return”. “You can go to work with a clear conscience again,” President Joe Biden called out to citizens in a speech. He decreed that the nearly three million federal civilian employees must return to full-time attendance beginning in May. The end of the home office has another important economic aspect: Many inner cities in American cities suffered severely from the absence of office workers, who now ate their lunch or after-work drink at home during Corona and no longer in bistros or restaurants. This also moved the New York Mayor to endorse the “Great Return”. “You can’t sit at home in your pajamas all day. We’re social creatures, we need to socialize and exchange ideas,” he told reporters in March. In Austria, too, there are no longer any instructions or regulations for working from home. Since April 2022, this has only been “recommended” in certain areas.