JPMorgan’s Return to Office Edict Is Getting Pushback: Reuters

  • JPMorgan is now mandating all managing directors work from the office five days a week.
  • But that rubbed some workers the wrong way, who vented on an internal messaging system, per Reuters.
  • They griped about being stuck in virtual meetings despite being in the office, long commutes, and family responsibilities.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, an outspoken advocate of the return to office movement, is getting pushback from his staffers, who feel the firm’s newest mandate requiring senior staff to be in the office five days a week is “tone deaf” and “divisive,” according to a Friday Reuters report

In an over 700-word memo on April 12, JPMorgan’s operating committee told employees that all managing directors must work from the office five days a week, breaking from a previous hybrid work arrangement, Insider’s Carter Johnson reported earlier in April.

Attendance would be considered in performance appraisals and could even result in “corrective action,” the memo read.  

But that note rubbed some workers the wrong way, who took to the company’s internal messaging system to vent, according to responses to the note seen by Reuters.

An unspecified number of the more than 290,000 workers employed by JPMorgan complained about several things — including long commute times, and a “Zoom culture” where they have to attend virtual meetings despite being in the office, per Reuters.

“Most people on my team (and even other teams around me) live pretty far from the office,” Reuters reported, citing one employee’s response to the memo. “Being stuck in traffic more often and paying even more for gas (prices are rising) is not good for myself and many others.”

While only a small part of the entire JPMorgan workforce commented on the memo, the number was significant in relation to the typical level of activity on the internal forum, Reuters reported, citing three employees of varying seniority. The comments section on the memo was locked a day after it was posted, which is standard procedure for high-engagement posts in JPMorgan’s internal system, a source told Reuters. 

But Dimon’s not budging on his stance.

In response to a Reuters question about returning to the office at an earnings call on April 14, he said: “We completely understand that some people don’t want to do it — they can not do it elsewhere.”

JPMorgan did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours. The company declined to comment to Reuters. 

Some CEOs are pushing hard for their staff to get back to the office

Dimon isn’t the only high profile CEO pushing for more of his staff to get back to working from the office. 

James Clarke, the CEO of marketing and tech company Clearlink said in a video first posted by Vice that many remote workers “quietly quit” and dozens of his employees “didn’t even open” their laptops for a month

In the same video, Clarke even lauded one employee’s work ethic who he said “sold their family dog” to improve work performance. 

Investor Sam Zell also came out swinging against remote work this month.

“All of this discussion about work from home is basically a bunch of bullshit,” he told attendees at an event at the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate, Insider’s Alex Nicoll reported.  

But employees are fighting this, saying don’t fix something that’s already working.

“People are saying, ‘I had something that was working, and now you’re telling me I have to commute, get dressed up, and that I can’t pick up my kids from school, Abbie Shipp, a professor of management at the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University, told Insider’s Rebecca Knight in March. 

Read the JPMorgan return to office memo in full here.

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