Goldman Sachs CEO says office attendance tops 50% during return-to-work push

Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon said more than half of the company’s staffers are working on site — even as the bank pursues a strict return-to-office campaign that has irritated many of its junior bankers.

Solomon said on-site attendance at Goldman’s US offices is hovering “between 50% and 60%.” That’s still down compared to attendance prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, when Solomon said “probably 80%” of Goldman workers were at their office desks.

“We want people to generally come together,” Solomon said in an interview with CNBC. “It’s going to take some time, you know; behavior shifts take time generally, and I think over the course of the next couple years, our organization will generally come together.”

Solomon said Goldman’s office attendance is higher at sites outside of the US, including Europe and Asia. In the latter case, Goldman’s top boss said 100% of workers show up to their seats when local offices aren’t in COVID-19 lockdown.

Goldman is one of several banks who have enacted strict return-to-office plans – much to the chagrin of their junior employees.

Goldman Sachs’ junior bankers expressed irritation over a push for five days a week on site.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

As The Post reported in late March, some of Goldman’s junior bankers were threatening to quit over internal pressure to work onsite five days per week.

Some junior Goldmanites took to the anonymous corporate message board Blind to voice their displeasure – arguing the campaign amounted to bullying and griping that managers were building spreadsheets to track their attendance.

“In GS, the top management says it’s employees choice but internally they track which team has most in office attendance,” one Goldman employee wrote on the board.

David Solomon
David Solomon previously described remote work as an “aberration.”
Getty Images for Vox Media

Solomon is one of the most vocal advocates for a full-time return to US offices – once describing remote work as a pandemic-era “aberration” that would fade as the virus waned.

Solomon pushed back when asked why more Goldman employees weren’t flocking to offices – asserting the situation is “never as binary as people portray.”

“There will be certain flexibility probably for certain roles and certain things, but there always has been,” he added.

Last month, Goldman hiked its meal allowance for staffers to $30 from $25 – even as it scrapped other perks such as free car rides to and from the office and free breakfast and lunch.

Goldman isn’t the only bank facing resistance over its office policy. Last month, JPMorgan reportedly loosened its mandate for some employees to two days per week from three days after some internal grumbling.

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